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u< OU_1 58874 >m 


Accession No. 


This )>ook should J>e returned on or before the date 

Japttfi Simtonir 

Buddham Saranam Gacchami 
Dharmam Saranam Gacchami 
Samgham Saranam Gacchami 





Lime composition. Gandhara, 5th 
century A D. The clear-cut planes 
and pure lines relate this head to the 
contemporary school of Sarnath. 
Originally the head was painted. 


This is otherwise known as Sri pada. Three 
corners of the slab are broken off. The carving 
is much weather-worn. Behind the heels is a 
lotus flower scroll. On the soles of the feet are 
two chakras, " the two beautiful brilliant 
white wheels with a thousand rays," described 
by the legends which enumerate the thirty-two 
personal marks of the Buddha, Around the 
Chakras is a variety of emblems. They are 
much worn ; the svastika with bent arms, and 
the trisula, can be clearly distinguished ; only 
traces of others appear. 


The World Teacher 

Man of Action 

The Goal and the Way 

Buddhist Art In Andhra 

Buddhist Remains in Andhra 


Buddhist Teachers of Andhra 

Mahatma Qandhi 
Sri Aurobindo 
8. N. Varma .3 

F. R. Narla 8 ! 

R. K. Thapar 25 
Vduri Sankara i 

tiastry 38 j 
53 i 

Early Buddhist Art of Andbra P. R. Xrimvawn 55 
Pre-History of the Krishna 

Influence of Andhra Art 

/>/'. ft. MubbuRao )f> i 
P. It. Rawachandnt ' 
Rao 71 ! 

Hon. Editor : 


Publisher : 

V. R. G. K. M. PRASAD 

Chairmfto, Buddhu Jayauti 
(Celebration Committee. JaititMy yapeta 

Satavahanas Were, they riot 

Coins of the Ikshvakus 
The Identity of Nagarjuna 

Rasavidya airl Siddha 

Nagarjuna . 

,. T. Prabkakara- 

Sastri 7(i 

. Dr. I). (>. Sircar 94 
. M. r. Narasimlnt- 

'Vwam// 1)9 

. I'/.s'.sYf Appa Rao 103 
Siddhartha and Art 

Prakrit Inscriptions In 


Buddhism After the Buddha 
Divine love of Sakyamuni 
Story of the Lord's Tooth 


Medical Interest In Buddhist 

Art , 

Rural Life in Gatha Sapta 

Sati . 


Cfiaitanya 110 

K. Mahadeva 

Uastry 1 i 8 

V. D. S. Pr<i*ad 124 
Va id i/a 8a s f /// 1 40 

M. So w a .se kha ra 

Sarma 144 

Dr. D. V. Subba 

Reddy 166 

... T. Ramachandra 174 
Ikshvakus and their Services ... R. Subrahmanyam 179 

India's Cultural Influence 

x Buddhism Absorbed In 

Our Great Heritage 

M. Bapineedn 

Dr. Aiyappan 
Jf. Salyanarayana 


OLTK Sincere Thanks are due to : 

The Lonory for their liberal contributions 

Sri Varanasi Subrahmanyam for his services as 
Hon. Public Relations Officer of our Committee 

Sri Nagireddl and Sri Chakrapani for providing 
facilities in their B. N. K. Press for printing the 
Souvenir in record time 

The keepers of Musee Guimet, Paris > Museum of 
Fine Arts } Boston, British Museum, and Madras 
Museum for the use of copies of photographs, of 
phe various sculptures in their respective museums 

the contributors of the articles and verses in the 
] enir 

iri GopL and Sri Murthy for their art work in 
the Souvenir 

Sri Ram Gopal and his troupe for their decoration 
of the Celebration Halls > Jaggayyapeta 

Sri V. Anandamoortliy and Sri C. Seshagiri Rao 
for their help in the publication of the Souvenir 

Sri P. Srinivasachary for his kind consent to be 
the Hon. Editor of the Souvenir 

V. R. G. K. M. PRASAD 



I am very much delighted to know that you are qoinq to celebrate 
Buddha Jayanti at one of the most Ancient Buddhist pilgrim centres in 
Andhra. I wish the function every success- 



I am delighted to learn that Buddha Jayanti celebrations will be 

held with due solemnity near Jagqayyapeta, and that the historic occasion 

will be marked by the publication of a Souvenir in English and Telugu, 
and also the holding of an Exhibition during the three-day celebrations 
commenping on the 24th May. Places like Nagarjunakonda and Amara- 
vati in our State recall to our mind that once upon a time the Krishna 
Valley was a famous home of Buddhist learning and sculpture. In that 
area lived and preached the great and saintly Nagarjuna- The message 
of the Buddha is well known, and never was the world in greater need 
than it is to-day of that message, which is one of love, piety, charity/ 
universal tolerance, and non-violence. I wish the celebrations every 



The Andhra Desa is abounding in centres of Buddhistic relics and, 
for some reason or other, the mounds seven in number qoing from one 
end to another are described as the Harlot's mounds. Whether these 
Stupas were built by a pious harlot, we do not know But we have them 
in Bhattiprolu, Ghantasala, Gudivada, and even in our village which is 
called Gundugolfcnu, there is a mound which is called Gunganam- 
madibba. However, these prove that from Jaggayyapeta to Ghatasala, 
there are rich and instructive relics of Buddhistic culture. It is good 
that private effort is being pursued in order to cooperate with the State 
in the matter of reviving interest in Buddhistic relics. Your information 
that the Andhra Government has given you a donation besides placing 
the services of the local officials in the Krishna district at your disposal, 
speaks volumes in praise of the Ministry that presides over it. There 
shall be no end to messages or blessings meant to encourage you on this 
sacred occasion. 

Buddha has not been incorporated into the Hindu pantheon- Yet 
his name and teachings, his statues and relics are treated with the 
highest reverence. The nation has revived his teachings once again in 
its fight with the British. And once the noble teachings of Buddha have 
been revived in order to serve as a means of securing political emancipa- 
tion, one may rest assured that the same teachings will have extended 
fields of operation and serve to ennoble life and raise it in its ethical and 
social bearings. I wish you success in your noble efforts to perpetuate 
the teachings and life of Buddha. 



I am glad to learn that arrangements are being made in Jaggayyapeta 
for celebrating the ensuing 2500th Parinirvana Anniversary of the Buddha 
in a fitting manner. The occasion is indeed a most historic one, consider- 
able international pageantry being also expected to mark the same and it is 
therefore fitting that the great event is also celebrated in the holy places 
of Andhra country which have long been associated in the past with the 
building up of the inspiring Buddhist tradition. I therefore congratulate 
the organisers of the Jaggayyapeta celebrations on their worthy venture. 
I also trust that the Exhibition being organised on the occasion as well as 
the Souvenir being brought out will rouse the general public into an 
awareness of the significance of the world's current homage to Lord 
Gautama, the Buddha, on this memorable occasion. 



I am glad to note that you are celebrating Buddha Jayanti. Buddha 
has enlightened the entire world with his fine principles. It is really 
appropriate that you should take interest in the celebrations since you 
come from that historic Buddhist place. I wish all success in your 
efforts to conduct the Jayanti in a fitting manner. 



I am very glad to find that you are making efforts to organise Buddha 
Jayanti celebrations in the Andhra area, which was at one time and 
for a very considerable period, the seat of a highly developed phase of 
Buddhistic learning and culture. The nature and extent of the spread of 
Buddhistic culture and the lasting effects it produced on the Andhra 
country, are probably not as widely known as they ought to be, even in 
the educated section of our people- Your efforts are therefore highly 
commendable. I had the good fortune of having been able to visit 
Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda about a year ago. It was only then 
that I could appreciate and visualise the great and marvellous culture 
which the archaeological remains indicate I have no doubt that your 
efforts will be a great success in bringing back to the general public a 
vivid appreciation of those marvellous days. 

Yours sincerely, 



I am happy to learn that by their voluntary efforts the people of 
Jaggayyapeta are celebrating the 2500th anniversary of the Parinirvana 
of Lord Buddha. This celebration is not only appropriate but is also 
a welcome sign of our sense of our debt to history I hope it is also the 

expression of the desire of our people to respect and accept in practice 

the tenets of ethical conduct and the principles of the way of life which 
Lord Buddha has given to the world. I would like all of us to feel that 
it is this that prompts our people and our government lo celebrate Buddha 
Jayanti- Celebrated in the right spirit it must lead to recollection and 
dedication. The extern*! aspects of celebration would not then displace 
the greater realities- Undertaken in this same spirit, I feel sure that 
the souvenir that you are publishing can serve to remind its readers of 
this great son of India and the precious gift to humanity of the great 
legacy of his teachings and the example of his life. 

I wish your celebration success. 





On the b'Jinks of the River Krishna, there flourished about two thousand years ago, several 
famous Buddhistic centres such as Nagarjunakonda, Jaggayyapeta, Amaravati., Ghanta- 
sala, Bhatliprolu. These regions were renowned at that time as world pilgrim centres, 
teeming with divine exuberances of art, architecture and poetry and exhortations of 
Buddhistic Dharma. 

The gracious flow of the Krishna has changed little till this day. But the floodtide of 
Buddhistic Dharma which had brought into being the rare cultural eminence of Andhra, 
got concealed after a time, as an undercurrent. 

To-dzy, all over the world, with immense faith and fervour, the people, are celebrating the 
2500th Parinirvana Jayanti of Lord Buddha and on this momentous occasion the under, 
current, the Path&la Ganga as it were, has come up for once, overflowing in all directions 
and granting its immortal message of Peace to this hate-ridden world. 



The whole world over, the 2500th Parinirvana 
Jayanti of Lord Buddha is being celebrated to-day 
with due solemnity and on a grand scale. On this 
auspicious occasion, we humbly dedicate this souvenir 
to the public at large. We are aware that, due to 
unforeseen circumstances, this volume remains defici- 
ent in many respects. The value of an offering lies, 
however, in the spirit that prompts it and we hope 
this brief symposium will serve in its own measure 
to commemorate the Buddha Jayanti celebrations in 

India is being rebuilt at this juncture nay, 
the entire world is in the throes of a new creation, 
a fact to which the prevailing glooms and insecurity, 
struggle and strife bear ample testimony. 

The material and equipment for this new crea- 
tion arc already available in India in the shape 
of the immortal traditions of Dharma. It only 
remains to readjust and remould these so as to 
suit the present circumstances. The great yagna, 
carried on till recently and brought to the stage of 
fruition by Mahatma Gandhi, and its continuation 
on purely constructive lines by Pandit Nehru mark 
this evolutionary process. The inspiration drawn 
by the latter from the message of the Buddha is 
but one of the operating factors. 

Gautama Buddha had no fads. His movement, 
at least in its relation to the mass of people 
around him revolved upon his vast mercy for the 
miserables, upon an all-embracing compassion. He 
had neither indifference nor disgust towards life. His 

very sense of keen sympathy for the sufferings of the world 
transformed itself into a tremendous power, which made him 
renounce his family and fly to the forests. The state 
of Nirvana he attained at the end of his Sadhana was not 
an empty peace of negation but the realization of the 
positive bliss of Essential Love. 

The five-point guide for human conduct, termed Pancha- 
shila, which Gautama Buddha had once preached as the way 
of realisation for the individual, has once again today been 
expounded, but with a new emphasis, by the Prime Minister of 
India to the vast world audience, as the path for society 
at large to follow for establishing common weal through 
peace and harmony. This new version of Panchashila shall be 
the gospel and watchword for the new world order which is 
emerging out of the chaos created by the slogans of warring 

While feud and animosity constitute the very nature of 
Asuras, co-operation and social living form the basic instincts 
of Mankind. f^^T^^IJ ^FenTl^fcT Tte^r was the teaching of Sri 
Krishna to Arjuna. Sri Krishna meant that ' He alone will 
attain me who is devoid of antagonism towards any beings 
in the world.*' 

The universal love of Sri Krishna as well as the absolute 
non-violence of Lord Buddha have reappeared during the 
present times through Gandbiji and later his spiritual heir, 
Pandit Nehru. Blessed are they that listen to this message ; 
twice blessed they that imbibe it ; thrice blessed they that 
propagate it. 

U /?. Q. J(. W. 
Chairman, Buddha JayanthJ Celebrations, 


Kill not -for Pity's sake and lest ye slay 
The meanest thing upon its upward way. 

Give freely and receive, but take from none 
By greed, or force, or fraud, what is his own. 

Bear not false witness, slander not nor lie ; 
Truth is the speech of inward purity. 

Shun drugs and drinks which work the wit abuse ; 
Clear minds, clean bodies, need no #oma juice. 

Touch not thy neighbour's wife, neither commit 
Sins of the flesh unlawful and unfit. 

Buddha, The World Teacher 

V[earl> 40, or to be more exact 38, years 
ago, I went to England as a lad and 
the first religious book that was placed 
into my hands was the 'Light of Asia'. 
From page to page I went ; I was really 
an indifferent reader of literature, but I 
could not resist the temptation that each 
page afforded to me and I closed the book 
with deep veneration for the teaching 
which has been so beautifully expressed 
by Sir Edwin Arnold. I read the book 
again when I had commenced the practice 
of my profession in South Africa. 

Unlike Buddhistic professors and unlike 
also many Hindu students I was going to 
say philosophers I draw no distinction 
between the essential teachings of Hin- 
duism and Buddhism. In my opinion, 
Buddha lived Hinduism in his own life. 
He was no doubt a reformer of his terrible 

time, that is to say, he was a reformer 
deeply in earnest and spared no pains for 
achieving the reform which he thought 
was indispensable for his own growth and 
for the uplift of the body. If historical 
records are correct the blind Brahmins of 
that period rejected his reform because 
they were selfish. But the masses were 
not philosophers who whiled away their 
time in philosophising. They were philo- 
sophers in action ; they had robust 
common sense and so they brushed aside 
the beast in the Brahmins ; that is to say, 
selfishness, and they had no hesitation in 
recognising in Buddha, the true exponent 
of their own faith. And so being myself 
also one of the masses, living in their 
midst, I found that Buddhism is nothing 
but Hinduism reduced to practice in terms 
of the masses. And therefore sometimes 
learned men are not satisfied with the 
incredibly simple teachings of Buddha. 
They go to it for the satisfaction of 
their intellect and they are disappointed. 
Religion is pre-eminently a matter of the 
heart and a man who approaches it with 
intellectual pride is doomed to disappoint- 

I make bold to say that Buddha was 
not an atheist. God refuses to see any 
person, any devotee who goes to him in 
pride. And the masses, not knowing what 
pride is, approach Him in all humility and 
become the splendid. That in my opinion, 
is the essential teaching of Buddhism. It 
is pre-eminently a religion of the masses. 
I do not despair; I do not for one moment 
consider that Buddhism has been banished 

* Extract from a speech delivered at the Vaisakha celebration of 
Buddha Jayanti at Calcutta in 1925. 

from India. Every essential characteristic 
of Buddhism I see, is being translated 
into action in India much more perhaps 
than in China. Ceylon and Japan, which 
nominally profess Buddhism. I make bold 
to say that we in India translate Bud- 
dhism into action far more and far better 
than our Burmese friends do. It is 
impossible to banish Buddha. You cannot 
deprive him of his birth in India. In his 
own life, ho made out for himself an 
imperishable name. He lives to-day in the 
lives of millions of human beings. What 
does it matter whether we go to a little 
temple and worship his image or whether 
we even take his name. My Hinduism 
teaches me that if my heart is pure, I may 
mispronounce the name of Rarna as Mara; 
still I can speak it with as much force as, 
nay, even more than the learned Brahmins. 

Buddha has taught us that it Is not neces- 
sary for millions to associate themselves 
with one man who seeks for truth. 

Let each one say for himself how much of 
the message of mercy and piety that Bud- 
dha came to deliver he has translated into 
his own life. In so much as we have trans- 
lated that message in our own lives are 
we lit to pay our homage to that great 
Lord, Master and Teacher of mankind. 
So long as the world lasts, I have not 
a shadow of doubt that he will rank 
among the greatest of teachers of 

May God help us to realise the message 
that the Lord Buddha delivered to man- 
kind so many hundreds of years ago and 
may we each one of us endeavour to trans- 
late that message in our lives, whether we 
call ourselves Hindus or not. 




Duddha refused to consider the meta- 
physical problem ; the process by 
which our unreal individuality is construc- 
ted and a world of suffering maintained 
in existence and the method of escape 
from it is all that is of importance. 
Karma is a fact ; the construction of 
objects, of an individuality not truly exis- 
tent is the cause of suffering : to get rid 
of Karma, individuality and suffering must 
be our one objective ; by that elimination 
we shall pass into whatever may be free 
from these things, permanent, real : the 

way of liberation alone matters. 

* * 

Pure Being is the affirmation by the 
Unknowable of Itself as the free base of 
all cosmic existence. We give the name 
* Extracts from The Life Divine 

of Non-Being to a contrary affirmation 
of Its freedom from all cosmic existence, 
freedom, that is to say, from all positive 
terms of actual existence which conscious- 
ness in the universe can formulate to 
itself, even from the most abstract, even 
from the most transcendent. It does not 
deny them as a real expression of Itself, 
but It denies Its limitation by all expres- 
sion or any expression whatsoever. The 
Non-Being permits the Being, even as the 
Silence permits the Activity. By this 
simultaneous negation and affirmation, 
not mutually destructive, but complemen- 
tary to each other like all contraries, the 
simultaneous awareness of conscious Self- 
being as a reality and the Unknowable 
beyond as the same Reality becomes realis- 
able to the awakened human soul. Thus 
was it possible for the Buddha to attain 
the state of Nirvana and yet act puis- 
santly in the world, impersonal in his 
inner consciousness, in his action the most 
powerful personality that we know of as 
having lived and produced results upon 

We recognise, then, that it is possible 
for the concsiousness in the individual to 
enter into a state in which relative exis- 
tence appears to be dissolved and even 
Self seems to be an inadequate conception. 
It is possible to pass into a Silence beyond 

the Silence. But this is not the whole 
of our ultimate experience, nor the single 
and all-excluding truth. For we find that 
this Nirvana, this self-extinction, while it 
gives an absolute peace and freedom to 
the soul within is yet consistent in prac- 
tice with a desireless but effective action 
without. This possibility of an entire 
motionless impersonality and void Calm 
within doing outwardly the works of the 
eternal verities, Love, Truth and Righte- 
ousness, was perhaps the real gist of the 
Buddha's teaching, -this superiority to 
ego and to the chain of personal workings 
and to the identiHcatioa with mutable 
form and idea, not the petty ideal of an 
escape from the trouble and suffering of 

the physical birth. In any cas^, as the 
perfect man would combine in himself the 
silence and the activity, so also would the 
completely conscious soul reach back to 
the absolute freedom of the Non-Being 
without therefore losing its hold on Exis- 
tence and the universe. It would thus 
reproduce in itself perpetually the eternal 
miracle of the Divine Existence, in the 
universe, yet always beyond it and even, 
as it were, beyond itself. The opposite 
experience could only be a concentration 
of mentality in the individual upon Non- 
existence with the result of an oblivion 
and personal withdrawal from a cosmic 
activity still and always proceeding in the 
consciousness of the Eternal Being. 

U .ZJk-Sf 


Enlightenment is symbolized by a vacant stone seat beneath a Bodhi tree. The sacred 
presence is further indicated by the Tri-Ratna or the * three gem ' emblem on the seat. The 
four praying figures are the four great earth guardians (lokapalas) 

Goal and tfye Way 

by S. N. VARMA 

l"n the Tevijja Sutta we are told the 
story of the two Brahmin youths 
who came to the Buddha and asked him 
to show them the way to the attainment 
of Brahman. And the Buddha told them 
how to become an Arhat. The word 
Arhat is derived from the Sanskrit root 
verb 3Tf and means des : rving or ado- 
rable. In Buddhism an Arhat is one who 
is freed from all delusion and has attained 
to the Supreme Peace of Nirvana. 

In a different context Sri Krishna places 
before Arjuna the ideal of the Yogi as the 
highest ideal, the ideal of one whose 
mental consciousness, perfectly disciplined 
liberated from all desire 
attains to the supreme 
peace of Nirvana ^ifcfl fifafGWTF). 

How is Arhatship to be attained '? By 
taking to the Middle Way, by avoiding the 
two extremes of self -indulgence and self- 
mortification. The Buddha's own life is 
an ideal example of the Middle Way. A 
study of his life and Buddhist literature 
convinces us of two things : his own 
transcendent spiritual self-mastery and 
his robust vitality and physical health. 
' He is always represented as having been 
well-clothed, well-fed ' (Rhys Davids). 

These who enter upon the Middle Way 
have, besides the practice of the eight 
virtues (Right Views, Right Aspirations, 
Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right 
Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindful- 
ness, Right Rapture, that is, which accom- 
panies deep meditation on the realities) 

to break the ten fetters or * Samyojanas '. 
These arc : 

(1) The delusion of self, of T and 
'mine', [t is a sense of separateness 
from the eternal and universal stream of 
life, a sense of individual permanence in 
the midst of this ever-shifting universal 
movement of cause and effect. In the 
Oita, it is referred to as Ahankara, one of 
the elements of the eightfold lower nature. 

(2) Doubt, specially in the efficacy of 
the means for realising the higher life. In 
the Hindu systems of Yoga, doubt is 
referred to as a characteristic of the 
tamasik mind tending to relapse into 

(3) Belief in the sufficiency of Good 
Works (out ward duties) and ceremonies. 
This is a fetter, for it lands the doer in 
self-righteousness and moral arrogance. 

(4) Kama (desire or lust). The Bud- 
dhist discipline objects to asceticism but 
goes all out for the taming or regulating 
of the passions. Lay Buddhists were 
mostly monogomists, but the practice of 
celibacy and abstinence from intoxica- 
ting drinks was enjoined upon the mem- 
bers of the order, and was a necessary 
condition of Arhatship ' (Rhys Davids). 

(5) Ill-will. This is to be remedied 
and ultimately replaced by the practice 
of universal love. 

(6) Love of life on earth. (7) Desire 
for a future life in heaven. (8) Pride. (9) 
Self -righteousness. (10) Avijja or ignorance 

Freedom from the first three fetters 
makes the aspirant a Sotapanno or ' one 
who has attained the stream.' For him 
there is no turning back ; the momentum 
already generated will carry him along 
towards the perfection of Arhatship. 

Let me point out that an analytical 
study of the above injunctions will tell us 
that they amount in practice to a gradual 
conquest of Tamas and Rajas by Sattva 
and an attempt to lift the sattvic mind 
above the separative ego with a view to 
its ultimate merging into the Peace and 
Silence and Void of Nirvana. 

This Nirvana is not the status of 
Universal or Transcendent * Being ', but 
a state of Non-Being whose gate is open 
to whosoever fights his way out of the 
Wheel of Life or the Chain of Causation 
by following the Eightfold Noble Path. 
The individual moving through the ages on 
the Wheel of Life has no doubt a past, a 
present and a future, but not in the sense 
of a conscious soul determining its cir- 

cumstances of time and space through 
various births in its progress towards 
liberation. His real identity in this stream 
of change and non -permanence is that oi 
cause and effect. Each one of us is 
involved through countless ages in the 
chain of causation, till as a result of 
ceaseless endeavour persisting through 
various births he works out all the links 
in the chain and is automatically delivered 
from it and escapes into Nirvana. The 
Gita says that the entire Universal play of 
gunas is contained in the Supreme-Being 
though the Supreme Being is not in it 5j Ire 

(VII, 12). This becoming with 
its chain of gunas can be transcended by 
the human soul with the help of Him who is 
its source and container. Buddhism says 
that this entire Wheel of Life is a vast 
and perennial phenomenon of the Chain 
of Causation, and to be delivered out of 
it one must practise the disciplines of the 
Middle Way. 

Relief depicting the story of Sumftngadha. Gdndhdra. 2nd-4th Century A.D. 

Buddha bathing 


Hail ! ye, Bold Traveller of the Blessed Path ! 
This is the sanctified land ! our Motherland ! 
Here Duty blossoms in the Divine Law 
And the Social Politics of the world unite. 

Hail ! ye, Bold Traveller of the Blessed Path ! 

The Moving World is bound in Equity's way 

And Socialism henceforth shall hold the sway 

And the Laws of Love, of friendship, have their day. 

Hail! ye, Bold Traveller of the Blessed Path! 

Here lust's consumed in wisdom's sacred fire 

And nectareous Love yields the Bliss heavenly and joy, 

And all the worlds do tread along this " Buddha's Way." 




3 he J)ride o( Jndia 

by V. R. NARLA 

"/ am not a Buddhist either by birth 
or by persuasion,'' says this writer, " but 
I am proud of Buddhist art in Andhra, 
as it is inherently Indian ivithout con- 
fining itself to the religion that inspired 
it or to the region where it found expres- 
sion. It is a rich heritage of which 
India, nay the world, could be proud. 
It does, indeed, transcend all boundaries 
of nationality and time. Created mostly 
on the banks of the Krishna at the dawn 
of the Christian era, it attracts and 
influences us even today, as it did most 
of Asia two thousand years ago. " 

Though the footprints of Gautama, the 
Buddha, never touched the soil of 
Andhra, it was in this youngest State of 
the Republic of India that Buddhist art 
and sculpture, especially the latter, had 

its finest flowering. The Andhras embraced 
Buddhism long before the era. of Asoka 
and as Prof. K. R. Subramaniam has 
stated in his excellent monograph, Bud- 
dhist Remains in Andhra, " it cannot be 
doubted that Andhra Budddhism was 

Being a highly emotional people, the 
Andhras are known even to-day for their 
quick and strong reactions. If they love 
they love ardently, and when they hate 
they hate violently. Taken as a whole 
they are kind, affectionate, hospitable and 
though sometimes prone to be irritatingly 
capricious, they have a genius for friend- 
ship, and are instinctively attracted by 
any progressive idea or ideology. Given 
this temperament, it can be taken for 
granted that they must have welcomed 
the gospel of Buddhism with its broad 
humanity, its emphasis on compassion, 

* Text of an undelivered address. 


its message of universal love and brother- 
hood, its total rejection of all superstitions 
and its direct appeal to all that is sublime 
in human nature. 

Anyone with imagination could certainly 
penetrate the thick fog of the intervening 
centuries and see the tall, slim, rather fair 
and wide-eyed Andhras in their millions 
flocking to Buddhist shrines with their 
offerings of fresh and fragrant flowers ; 
one may even hear every hill and dale in 
the ever-green valleys of the Krishna, the 
Godavari and the Vamsadhara resounding 
to the incantation of Buddham **aranam 
yacchami ; Dharmam saranam yacchann ; 
Sanyham saranam yacchami (which means 
"I take refuge in the Buddha, in the 
Gospel and in the Order'' ). That this is 
no idle speculation of mine is attested by 
scores of the remains of the Buddhist 
xtupas that are scattered throughout the 
length and breadth of the Andhra State 
from Salihundam in the north to Chinna 
Ganjam in the south, and from Gooty in 
the west to Ghantasala in the east. These 
Buddhist sites, in the words of Mr. Long- 
hurst, '' are of far more real archaeo- 
logical value than many of the great 
Hindu monuments of the South." We 
owe the re-discovery of these ancient sites 
to the pioneering efforts of a brilliant 
band of officials, both civilian and military, 
and archaeologists, the most prominent of 
whom are Mackenzie, Elliot, Burgess, 
Sewell,Rea, Longhurst and Ramachandran. 

I cannot claim to have seen all the 
sites of Buddhist remains in Andhra. I 
have, however, had the good fortune 
of visiting Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda, 
Jaggayyapeta, Ghantasala and Bhatti- 
prolu. Of these, the first two places are 
world famous. They are both in Guntur 
District on the banks of the Krishna, the 
blue Danube of India, and the second big- 

gest river of the Deccan. Though Amara- 
vati is today a rather dusty village and 
not the seat of a great university that it 
was for some centuries, and though Naga- 
rjunakonda is now practically a deserted 
place and not the centre of another famous 
university as in ancient times, anyone 
who visits these two places would not 
fail to sense in them some of the limpid- 
ness and sparkle of the Krishna river 
together with the calm and peace and 
beatitude associated with Buddhism. 
Being a layman, T cannot, of course speak 
with authority, but as one who in his 
wanderings over India has covered almost 
all the major centres of ancient and 
mediaeval Indian art, I may venture my 
opinion J'or what it is worth that even 
after centuries of neglect and vandalism, 
the sculptures still to be seen both at 
Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda are second 
to none for their lyrical beauty; their 
divine grace and their depth of feeling. 

Amaravati, as most of you are no doubt 
aware, has an important place in the 
history of not only Andhra but Indian 
and world Buddhism. This famous place 
within half-a-mile of the Satavahaiia 
capital, Dhfinyakataka, was the centre 
of a special school of Mahayana philosophy. 
It was, however, more popular on account 
of the magnificent stupa that rose there 
majestically to a height of about 100 feet, 
while at its base it had a diameter of one 
hundred and sixty-two feet seven inches. 
(Comparative figures are; Bhattiprolu, 
one hundred and forty -eight feet ; Ghanta- 
sala, one hundred and twenty-two feet 
and the main stupa at Nagarjunakonda, 
one hundred and six feet.) " The original 
chaitya of Amaravathi," according to 
Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, " dates 
from 200 B. C. and some reliefs are of the 
first or second century B. C. The casing 


Sujata adoring Lord Buddha. The scene is depicted in the circle in the middle 
portion. On the top, Buddha's bathing in Niranjana river and in the bottom 
The Lord's Enlightenment are depicted. (Amaravati, now in the British Museum.) 


slabs and the great railing and also tho 
few Buddha figures date from the latter 
part of the second century A. D., or at 
any rate not later than A. D. 250." Of 
this railing, which was the supreme glory 
of the Amaravati sl-upa, Mr. James Fergus- 
son says that " although the rail at 
Bharhut is the most interesting and 
important in India in an historical sense, 
it is far from equal to that at Amaravati, 
either in elaboration or in artistic merit." 
'' Fndced in these respects," continues the 
same authority who, along with Mr. E. B. 
Havell and Dr. A. K. Coomaraswami, was 
largely responsible for bringing to the 
notice of the outside wor' 1 the beauty and 
the glory of Indian art and architecture, 
"the Amaravati rail is probably the most 
remarkable monument in India. In the 
first place, it is more than twice the 
dimensions of the rail at Bharhut, the 
great rail being 195 feet in diameter, the 
inner 165 ft. or almost twice tho dimen- 
sions of that at Bharhut ; between those 
two was the procession-path, which in the 
earlier examples was on the tope itself. 
Externally, the total height of the great 
rail was about 14 ft., internally it was two 
feet less, while the inner rail was solid 
and only six feet in height." I need not 
go into the other architectural details of 
this great Amaravati stupa, a plaster 
model of which re constructed according 
to a plan suggested by Mr. Percy Brown 
can be seen in the Madras Museum but I 
should perhaps mention that it is estimated 
that ''the railing alone provided a super- 
ficial area of nearly 17,000 square feet 
covered with delicate reliefs." 

Most of these reliefs are now unfortu- 
nately lost. Even by the time of Col. 
Colin Mackenzie who saw the great Amara- 
vati stupa at the end of the 18th Century 
many of the sculptured marbles had been 

destroyed. They had been dug up and 
burnt into lime by a local chieftain who 
in 1797 shifted his head-quarters to Ama- 
ravati, the very dust of which was rich 
with history and hallowed by tradition, 
and made a feeble attempt to found a new 
city about the Amareswara temple. And 
even those marbles that escaped this 
vandalism are now widely scattered. A 
large majority of them have been removed 
to the London, Paris, Calcutta and Madras 
Museums ; just a few only a-re left on the 
original site. Mof e than a hundred of them 
125 to be exact -are now in the British 
Museum. Named after Sir Walter Elliot, 
who was mainly responsible for sending 
them to London, they are known as the 
" Elliot Marbles. 5 Rivalling even the 
Elgin marbles and the Assyrian reliefs in 
their grace and elegance, their power and 
poignancy, the Amaravati sculptures 
greeted me in the entrance hall of that 
great treasure house of world art in an 
uncommonly quiet street in London. 
Across the Channel in Paris, I have again 
found in the Musee Guimet three, maybe 
four, marbles from Amariivati, while I 
recently counted fourteen of them in the 
Indian Museum at Calcutta. I need not, I 
suppose, add that the Government Museum 
in Madras has more than three hundred 
and fifty of these art treasures from 
Amaravati, including, of course, quite a 
few fragments. While regretting this wide 
dispersal of the invaluable creations of 
the Andhra sculptors, I must admit that 
everywhere I found them well housed, and 
properly cared for except at the place of 
their origin. Two years ago when I was 
at AiucuTvVati for the second time, I found 
the few marbles still left there dumped in 
an ugly shed, though even the smallest 
fragment deserves a royal palace for its 
ineffable beauty and infinite grace. 


Subjugation of Nalagiri. Two scenes (1) 

Nalagiri rushing along furiously in the 

streets of Rajagriha (2) Nalagiri bowing at the 

feet of Buddha (Amaravati.) 


As Dr. Coomaraswamy says, the sculp- 
ture of Amaravati which is mostly in 
relief and only rarely in the round, "is 
very vigorous and full of movement, some- 
times passionately devotional, sometimes 
humorous, always voluptuous and decora- 
tive." He also thinks that all of it is 
" a masterpiece of pure design, charming 
in every detail". Indeed, the art of 
Amaravati is a glorious product of the 
Andhra genius. Mr. Fergusson's expert 
opinion is that the sculptures of Amara- 
vati mark "the culmination of Indian 
art ". Even while disputing this estimate, 
Mr. Havell admits that the Amaravati 
marbles present "delighti'ul studies of 
animal life, combined with extremely 
beautiful conventionalized ornament." He 
also acknowledges that at Amaravati "the 

most varied and difficult movements of 
the human figure are drawn and modelled 
with great freedom and skill. 

Great freedom in expression, and un 
failing skill in making every line and 
curve and contour of a sculpture speak 
eloquently these, indeed, are the two 
distinctive characteristics of the art of 
Amaravati. And what is equally impor- 
tant, it is essentially indigenous ; it arose 
out of the inner urges of a people ; it was 
the response to a challenge, and a pouring 
forth of the heart for finding fulfilment. 
The Gandhara or Graeco-Roman influence 
on Indian sculpture, if it was really strong 
at any earlier period, was negligible by 
the time it reached the banks of the 
Krishna in the early years of the Christian 
era. " The Ama-ravati sculptures ", Sir 

Prince Siddhartha in his harem Amaravati (Now in the British MUSPI.UH } 

John Marshall has rightly stated, " indeed 
appear to be as truly Indian in style 
as those of Bharhut and Ellora. They 
follow as a natural sequence on Mauryan 
art when that art was finding expression 
in more conventionalized forms. They 
have inherited certain motifs and types 
which filtered in from the north-west (i e., 
Gandhara), but these elements have been 
completely absorbed and assimilated with- 
out materially influencing the indigenous 
character of these sculptures." 

Though I am not one of those who feel 
ashamed to acknowledge that we have 
borrowed and assimilated something from 
others, it is asserted by competent autho- 
rities that outside influences are yet more 
negligible in the case of the Buddha image 
at Amaravati. According to Mr. Douglas 
Barett (I am quoting from his recent 
publication, Sculptures from Amaravati 
In the, British Museum,) " few, if any, of 
the Amaravati images of the middle and 
late phases are indentical with those of 
Mathura... There is, as it were, greater 
naturalness about the Amaravati image. 
It is less of an ikon than the image of the 
North. Indeed, if the short curly hair, 
iishnixhd, and halo are added to the 
figures of monks, which are frequently 
represented in the middle phase, the result 
is an Amaravati Buddha. The monks 
have shaven heads and both shoulders 
covered with the robe, which is naturali- 
stically rendered. " "The Buddha image 
at Amaravati ", continues Mr. Barett, 
' was carved not to express the abstract 
thought of the philosopher or theologian, 
but to satisfy the personal adoration or 
bhakti of the common laity and the simple 
monk, a need displayed by the othe r 
contemporary religions of India." I may 
add that even if the Andhra sculptor 
derived much more than the idea of 


making an image of the Buddha from 
Madhura, he succeeded abundantly in 
infusing his creation with the spirit of the 
Andhras whose approach to life and reac- 
tions to their environment are essentially 

The emotional impact of some of the 
Amaravati sculptures could really be pro- 
found. If I may strike a personal note, 
the sculpture of the four worshipping 
women, which is preserved in the Madras 
Museum, stirs me to the depths of my. 
soul. With what simplicity and directness 
does this masterpiece show the utter 
abandon and the total surrender of these 
devotees bowing before the feet of the 
Lord ! Another Amaravati sculpture also 
in the Madras Museum always fascinates 
me with its dramatic effect. It represents 
the taming of the fierce elephant, Nalagiri? 
by the Master. How eloquently does it 
portray the transformation wrought in 
the wild beast by the commanding pre- 
sence and the pervasive influence of the 
Prince of Compassion. Let loose by the 
palace mahouts, who were bribed by 
Devadatta, the jealous cousin of the 
Buddha, it strikes terror into the hearts 
of the on lookers and makes everyone 
flee before it as it rushes through 
the city streets to attack the Lord. 
For a moment it chills your own spine. 
The evil plan of Devadatta seems to be 
assured of complete success. But lo 
and behold ! even as Nalagiri approaches 
the Master it begins to soften and to 
relent, to hesitate and to falter, until 
finally it becomes meek as a lamb and 
salutes the Lord by falling prostrate 
before his feet. At this unexpected turn 
this magical transformation what should 
have been the feelings of Devadatta ? 
Though unrepresented in the sculpture, 
you can visualise him lurking behind some 

vantage point, with his face registering in 
quick succession feelings of expectancy, 
elation, disappointment, and incredulity 
coupled with impotent rage. 

Before I pass on to other centres of 
Buddhist art in Andhra, may I crave 
your permisson to say a few more words 
about the marbles of Amaravati? It is 
generally believed that the Amaravati 
sculptures were " originally covered with a 
thin coat of fine plaster and painted " 
If it were so, we may safely presume that 
they once rivalled in their beauty and 
delicacy the paintings of Ajanta and 
Bagh. Even without these fine colours, 
" it is only in the painting of Ajanta and 
Bagh", as Dr. Burgess remarks, "that 
we find anything comparable to the rich 
variety and excellence of art displayed in 

these (Amaravati) sculptures.'' In fact, 
Mr. Havell believes that the bas-reliefs of 
Amaravati (forming the decoration of the 
railings and the marble casing of the 
stupa itself) should properly be studied in 
connection with the fresco-paintings of 
Ajanta. I may be pardoned if I hazard a 
guess that the painters of Ajanta were no 
other than the sculptors of Amaravati 
working in a different medium. 

Of equal merit are the marbles of Naga- 
rjuiidkonda, or the Sri Parvata (as it was 
known formerly) in the protective shadow 
of which once nestled the magnificent city 
of Vijayapuri, the capital of the Ikshvfikus. 
While the Ikshvakus flourished and held 
sway over Vengi as the successors of the 
Satavahanas, this lovely valley of the 
Sri Parvata- it has green hills on three 

Lord Buddha returning to Kapilavastu. Amaravati 

sides, the deep blue stream of the Krishna 
constituting the fourth - was a great seat 
of Mahayana Buddhism, second perhaps 
only to Amaravati. Though the ruling kings 
\vere mostly Hindus, their consorts patro- 
nised Buddhism. According to inscrip- 
tions found at Nagarjunakonda. one such 
royal patroness indeed the very first 
was Chantisiri; another was Adavi Chanti- 
siri, while the name of the third lady that 
has come down to us is Chula-Chanti- 
sirimika. Though not related to the 
Ikshvakus, Upasika Bodhisiri who, I pre- 
sume, was a fabulously rich heiress that 
donned the yellow robe, vied with the 
ladies of the royal family in her magni- 
ficent gifts. There may be some doubt as 
to her nationality on the strength of 
their identification of her birth-place 
Govagama with Gonagamaka, which is 
mentioned as a Ceylonese port in the 
Mahavamsa, some research scholars be- 
lieve that she hailed from Ceylon but as 
to her numerous endowments to the 
Buddhistic establishments, not only at 
Nagarjunakonda, but at other places too, 
there is no doubt whatsoever. To quote 
from Early History of the Andhra Country 
by Sri K. Gopalachari, Bodhisiri helped to 
build at Vijayapuri " two Chaitya grahn* 
(one on the Lesser Dhammagiri by the 
side of a vihara as the special property of 
the nuns of Ceylon), and another at 
Kulaha-vihara, a shrine for the liodhi-iree 
(i.e., a railing around it) at the Sihala 
vihara, one cell at the great Dhamma- 
giri, a mandava pillar at the Mahavihara, 
a hall for religious practice at Devagiri, 
a tank, verandah, and mandava at Puva- 
sela, a stone mandava at the eastern gate 
of the Mahachaitya at Kantakasela, three 
cells at Hiruththuva, seven cells at Papila, 
a stone mandava at Puphagiri, and a stone 
mandava at HIQ... vihara" We need not 


pause to wonder as to what could be 
the modern names of the various places 
that received such varied gifts from 
Bodhisiri ; it is enough for our purpose to 
note that such was the deep devotion of 
this and other ladies to the message of 
the Buddha that they poured out unstint- 
ingly all their treasures to adorn Vi jaya 
puri with innumerable slupas, chaitya* 
and viharas. 

Great must have been the splendour of 
this citadel of the Ikshvakus for it 
attracted from far and wide not only 
merchants with wares to sell, but students 
seeking knowledge, both religious and 
secular. Even before the time of the 
Ikshvakus, Vijayapuri must have gained 
wide reputation as a seat of learning for 
that great philosopher, Nagarjunacharya, 
the propounder of Madhy ami-Tea or the 
Middle Path, spent (according to Tibetan 
traditions) the closing years of his life on 
the Sri Parvla. But lured by the history 
and traditions of Vijayapuri, I should not 
lose sight of my main theme, viz , Bud- 
dhist Art in Andhra. 

Well, unlike those found at Amaravati, 
the marbles of Nagarjunakonda are not 
dispersed (except for the four or five t hat 
have somehow found their way into 
Musee Guimet) and in their fulness they 
proclaim to the world the glory and 
grandeur of the Buddhist art of Andhra. 
Perhaps 1 should not fail to mention here 
that the excavations at Nagarjunakonda 
are not yet complete and that there is 
every likelihood of more sculptures as 
well as inscriptions and remains of ancient 
buildings being found there. These further 
excavations are being carried out now on 
a large scale for the site I regret to say 
is going to be inundated under the major 
irrigation project of Nagarjuna Sagar, 
work on which is now proceeding apace. 

The King surrounded by the Seven Jewels. The raining of coins on the 
King can be seen in the top portion. Jaggayyapeta 


Though it is rather unfortunate that an 
ancient site of great religious, artistic, 
cultural and historical value should soon 
be submerged under a vast sheet of water 
as a result of the new project, I, for one, 
would not bewail the event as the great 
Nagarjuna Sagar is expected to irrigate 
millions of acres of arid land, thereby 
bringing plenty and prosperity to vast 
areas which are now periodically subject 
to famine conditions. And I am sure the 
great Buddhist divine and philosopher, 
Nagarjuna, would, in the largeness of his 
heart, bless the project. 

During Nagarjuna's time and for some 
centuries after him, Vijayapuri was slaking 
the thirst for knowledge of thousands of 
students that were flocking there from 
" Kashmira, Gandhara, Cheena, Chilata, 
Tosali, Aparanta, Vanga, Varnasi, Yavana, 
Paliira, Damila, Tambapanni ". From 
now on instead of standing as a mere 
shadow of its past glory, it would serve as 
a great reservoir for watering thirsty 
lands, thereby bringing happiness into 
thousands of homes ; homes that are now 
dark with poverty and are devoid of all 
decencies of a civilized life. Nagarjuna 
preached the gospel of life, not of the 
graveyard. His mission was to bring 
light into the dark recesses of the mind 
and to abolish ignorance and suffering. 
He would, therefore, be the first to assert 
that grinding poverty poverty that is 
not voluntary, but enforced with all the 
degeneration it inevitably brings about, 
leaves no scope whatsoever for an intel- 
lectual life, not to speak of a life of the 
spirit. He would, I feel, not only not 
regret the conversion of the dead valley 
into a life-giving reservoir, but would 
welcome it as a noble venture worthy of 
his teachings and his traditions. 


Let me not, however, pursue this point 
further ; all that I need say is that the 
present sculptures at Nagarjunakonda and 
any that may be found as a result of the 
current excavations, will be treasured 
somewhere as a great national heritage. 
According to a recent report, an expert 
committee appointed by the Government 
of India seems to prefer the location of 
the Nagarjunakonda sculptures and other 
finds at the top of the Sri Parvata itself, 
for that reputed hill would continue to 
hold its head aloft in spite of its base as 
well as its flanks being totally submerged 
in the great lake that would bo formed 
once the Nagarjuna Sugar project is 
completed. This appears to me to be 
a good idea, and I hope that it will be 
implemented. If, however, any practical 
difficulties are encountered in putting it 
through and an alternative site is chosen, 
even then that new place would, I am 
confident, become another Nagarjuna- 
konda. For the gospel so brilliantly 
interpreted and so vigorously taught by 
the great Nagarjuna is writ large on 
every frieze. 

How deeply did one of the Nagarjuna- 
konda sculptures move me during my last 
visit ! It depicts the great wave of 
sorrow that swept through the royal court 
of Kapilavastu when the news of tho 
sallying forth the Mahabhiniskramana 
-of Prince Siddhartha in search of the 
Dharma is brought back by Channa, the 
the dutiful charioteer, King Suddh5dana's 
head is bent down in grief and he is 
almost frozen on his seat. Princess 
Yes5dhara is falling down unconscious as 
if struck by lightning. Channa, who is 
kneeling at the feet of the king, is a 
picture of sorrow. The faces of the royal 
attendants are masterly studies in sadness. 
And the most suggestive, poignant touch 

of all, the eyes of that noble steed, 
Kantaka, who had overnight carried the 
Lord on his back out of Kapilavastu, are 
glistening with tears. For a moment I was 
wondering whether the very stone on 
which this scene was depicted was not 
itself melting into tears ! Such indeed is 
the marvel of the art of Nagarjunakonda !! 
It is rich without being elaborate, moving 
without being sentimental, meaningful 
without being didactic. Even a broken 
piece from Nagarjunakonda is evocative 
as I realised when I noticed a small 
fragment representing the fingers of a 
hand. The moment I saw it I felt sure 
that it must have been ?> fragment of a 
statue of the Buddha, for who can mistake 
the lustre and loveliness, the power and 
elegance of fingers that set the Wh<el of 
Dkarma in motion. 

I have dwelt upon Amaravati and 
Nagarjunakonda at some length because 
they undoubtedly represent the two highest 
peaks of Buddhist art in Andhra. Though 
of lesser importance, the finds at Goli, 
Jaggayyapeta, Bhattiprolu, Ghantasala, 
Guntupalli, Garikipadu, 3alihundam, 
Ramatirtham and many other sites of 
Buddhist remains in Andhra are remar- 
kable in their own way. The stupas at 
some of these places are said to be earlier 
than those at Amaravati and Nagarjuna- 
konda, and either as a result of vandalism 
or pilfering by the agents of foreign 
governments, not many sculptures from 
these places are available for study. Still 

the few marbles left after centuries of 
depredation and destruction clearly bear 
the stamp of that genius that was to find 
its spring-tide at Amaravati and Naga- 

Even broken pieces of the friezes of the 
much neglected stupa at Jaggayyapeta, 
which I visited recently for the first time, 
are things of beauty. Fourteen sculptures 
recovered from Jaggayyapeta all of them 
either broken or mere fragments, the only 
exception being a standing Buddha are 
in the Madras Museum. This standing 
Buddha is exceptional, not merely because 
it was found undamaged, but also because 
it differs both in age and style from the 
rest of the finds. It has an inscription on 
its lotus base in characters of the sixth 
century the gist of the inscription being 
that the image was made under instruc- 
tions from Jayaprabhacharya. a disciple 
of Nagal'junacharya it is concluded that 
it belongs to a much later age than the 
rest of the sculptures which are akin to 
those of the first phase of the Amaravati 
stupa, and hence are dated as early as 
200 B. C. 

The most interesting as well as impor- 
tant of the Jaggayyapeta marbles is a slab 
representing a Chakravarti. The seven 
jewels which surround him the queen, 
the prince, the minister, the elephant, the 
horse, the wheel, and the gems proclaim 
him to the world as a king of kings. 
Noteworthy features of this sculpture are 
not only the square coins that are sho- 

Animals and Youths. Amaravati 


wered on the emperor from the sky and 
the jewels worn by the human Jigures, but 
also the elongated structure of those 
figures which constitute a marked depar- 
ture from the stunted representations of 
the Gandhara school. It is this elegant 
attenuation of the figures that subse- 
quently led to the " towering and graceful 
forms " in the sculptures of the middle 
phase of Ami lira sculpture at Amaravati. 
Another interesting Hud in Jaggayyapeta 
is the " piiiiya-sald," a beautiful sculpture 
showing a two-storied shrine. 

My visit to Bhattiprolu, a village in the 
Repalle Taluk of the Guntur District, was 
in my teens ; hence my memories of the 
stupa there are extremely vague. But I ga- 
ther from the report of Mr. Alexander Rea 
on his excavations of Buddhist mounds 
in the Krishna District that even by 
1820 the slupa at Bhattiprolu was denuded 
of most of its bricks and all of its marbles. 
" The bricks being of large size and good 
quality", says his report, " were used for 
road-making, and the marbles variously 
utilised in the construction of a sluice in 
the Krishna canal ". There is, however, 
some doubt as to whether the marbles had 
any carvings on them. Mr. Robert Sewell, 
who visited the place the earlier than Mr. 
Rea was of the opinion that they had carv- 


ings. In a report which he made out to the 
Madras Government in 1878, Mr. Sewell 
said: "That they really were carved marble 
sculptures is tolerably conclusively proved 
by the fact that in the walls and floor of 
this very Vellatur sluice marbles have been 
extensively used. Some sculptured stones 
bear carvings assimilating in type to those 
at Amaravati though they do not appear 
to have been so beautifully executed." 
I have no hesitation in agreeing with this 
opinion. The greenish white limestone 
quarried in Palnad in Guntur District and 
widely used in adorning the stwpas in 
Andhra has no intrinsic beauty. It has no 
gloss, no variegated lutes ; it is dull, drab, 
cold. Now-a-days it is used as raw-material 
by our cement industry. It is the 
masterly hand of the Andhra sculptors 
that gave this flimsy limestone a life and 
a message ; a life of unsurpassed beauty 
and a message of love for all sentient 
beings. It is this intrinsic lack of any 
beauty in the lime stone of Palnad that 
makes me believe that it could not have 
been used in the slupa at Battiprolu, or 
for the matter of that, at any other place, 
without some sculpture or other on it -be 
it a lotus, a dharma chakra, a naga with 
an out-stretched hood, a bodhi tree or the 


Sri Padas. Well, whatever sculptural 
wealth the Battiprolu stupa had, which 
by the way was constructed of solid brick- 
work unlike those at Ghantasala and 
Nagarjunakonda, is now totally lost. 

An identical fate seems to have over- 
taken the Buddhistic stupa at Gudivada, 
a taluk centre in the Krishna District. 
" About 1840 a mound of brick-work was 
demolished here to obtain material for re- 
pairing the high road between Bezwada 
and Bandar." Referring to this vandalism, 
Mr. Rea says: " It is to be regretted 
that all these works have suffered at the 
hands of those who required material for 
the construction of roads and other auch 
works. Though among the oldest existing 
monuments of an ancient civilisation, their 
great antiquity was no protection to them 

from the despoiling hands... Such being the 
case we can only unearth and endeavour 
to piece together such remains that 
escaped the notice of the despoilers. We 
have been able to gather from these in 
many cases seemingly shapeless mounds 
that the architectural works of the Bud- 
dhists have never been excelled by any of 
later date existing in India. Unlike the 
later architecture of the Dravidians, their 
buildings not only contained masterpieces 
of detail, but the buildings were them- 
selves perfect examples of architectural 
composition ". 

For quoting here Mr. Rea at some 
length my only excuse is that his report 
published in 1894 with a pretty long title, 
South Indian Buddhist Antiquities, includ- 
ing the Stupas of Battiprolu , Gudivada 

Lord Buddha s returning to Kapilavastu through the air. Arnaravati 


and Ghantasala and Other Ancient Sites 
in the Krishna District, Madras Presi- 
dency, has now become extremely scarce, 
though I have been lucky in obtaining 
a copy of it only the other day from 
Poona. While it is hard to resist the 
temptation to quote more passages from 
this rare report, I would merely add that 
all that Mr. Rea could recover from 
Battiprolu were two caskets with sacred 
Buddhistic relics and from Gudivada a 
large and valuable hoard of ancient coins, 
some of which date back to the Satavahana 
Empire. A very interesting coin from the 
same hoard " bore the figure of a Roman 
or Greek galley, with a rather crescent- 
shaped hull, two masts and a large 
oar-shaped rudder ". Mr. Rea certainly 
deserves our grateful thanks for these 
valuable finds, but it must be mentioned 
that it was rather unfortunate, that he 
narrowly missed unearthing the marbles 
of Ghantasala ; how this happened we 
shall see presently. 

Though it is a debatable point whether 
Bhattiprolu and Gudivada could lay claim 
to any sculptural wealth, there is no such 
doubt regarding Ghantasala, a village 
sixteen miles west of Masulipatarn. When 
I visited the place a few years back I 
found there some uprights of the rail of 
the local sfupa with finely-chiselled dharma 
chakras. The original name of Ghanta- 
sala is said to be Kantakasaila ; in fact, 
Ptolemy refers to it as " Contocossyla ". 
It is surmised that the place was named 
after Kantaka, the renowned horse of 
Buddhist lore. The frieze from Ghanta- 
sala depicting Kantaka is preserved in the 
Madras Museum. The rest of the marbles 
of Ghantasala are now in far-off Paris in 
Mus6e Guimet. One of these which fasci- 
nated me during my visit to Paris in 1954 
is a masterly depiction of a three storied 


building with adorers ; another is an 
exquisite sculpture vividly portraying the 
happiness of SuddhOdana, when he heard 
the news of the birth of his son, Siddhartha. 

According to Mr. Douglas Barett, 
Assistant Keeper in the Department of 
Oriental Antiquities in the British Mu- 
seum, "the most important slab" from 
Ghantasala is in the Museum of Fine Arts, 
Boston. "It is carved on both faces. 
The palimpsest shows an elaborate stupa 
similar to those on the late drum slabs at 
Amaravati. On the other face is the 
scene of the Buddha at the Niranjana 
river ; there is a fragmentary pilaster up 
the left-hand edge ", Could the import- 
ance of this relief be that it is carved on 
both faces ? I do not know. But I am 
convinced that the Mnhachaitya at Ghan- 
tasala was one of the most important in 
Andhra. The art of Ghantasala vied 
with that of Amaravati at its best. A 
slightly damaged head of the Buddha, a 
sculpture in the round, found in Ghanta- 
sala, is in my opinion definitely superior 
in certain respects to those which I have 
seen in Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda. 
It has more repose and profundity, and 
just a suggestion of a smile reminding one 
of the crescent moon that faintly glimmers 
in the sky and makes the young night all 
the more mysterious and bewitching. 

It is, indeed, a great pity that most of 
the sculptures of Ghantasala are lost to 
our country for ever. Mr. Alexander Rea, 
who carried on excavations in this village 
somewhere around 1890, confined his 
attention to the main stupa, which in its 
dilapidated condition is locally known as 
Lanja Dibba, i. e., the harlot's mound. It- 
is really amazing, and not a little sadden- 
ing, that not merely at Ghantasala, but at 
Gudivada, Bhattiprolu Chinna Ganjam, 
Pedda Ganjam and quite a few other 

places the remnants of the sacred shrines 
of Buddhism came to be given such filthy 
names as Lanja Dibba, and Bogamadani 
Dibba. The only exception to this which 
I know of is the stupa at Amaravati. Its 
local name is Dipala Dinne, i.e., the 
mound of lamps. But even this reference 
to lamps may not after all be a very 
complimentary one, for practically at all 
places where there is a Buddhistic mound 
there is a local tradition that the prosti- 
tute who had her residence on the mound 
used a lamp for signalling. Maybe the 
bad name to the Buddhistic mounds is an 
index of the fanaticism with which Bud- 
dhism was perhaps suppressed by later 
day Hindu zealots, or may be it denotes 
the low levels to which Buddhism had 
probably sunk in its last days when it 
assumed the forms of Vajrayana and 
Sahajayana forms in which it hardly 
differed from unbridled tantrism. Of these 
two reasons I, for one, give greater 
credence to the former. 

But let me not drift from the main 
theme ; I mean the excavations of Mr. 
Rea at Ghantasala. Obviously attracted 
by the large size of the main mound, he 
confined his operations to that only. 
Though it showed up the foundations of a 
large slwpa as also a relic casket, it had 
no sculptured marbles. The sculptures of 
Ghantasala were, in fact, elsewhere in a 
mound called the Kofa Dibba, i. e., the 
mound of the fort. Mr. Rea did make a 
note of this, as also of a third one in the 
village which is known as Polimera Dibba. 
Mr. Rea's report runs thus : " On the 
south, just over the village boundaries is 
a low mound on the bank of a tank. It 
measures about seventy feet across, and 
is roughly circular in plan. The founda- 
tions of brick walls appear at places, and 
brick debris lie all over it. It may possibly 

be the remains of a tttupa". Here Mr. 
Rea was on the brink of a great discovery. 
Had he made it, it would have been his 
supreme achievement as an archaeologist. 
But he narrowly missed it. Subsequently 
in the twenties of the present century, a 
peasant, while cultivating iiis fields border- 
ing on this very mound, Kola Dibba, 
uncovered as many as thirty sculptures, 
each rivalling the other in its masterly 
protrayal of scenes from the life of the 
hist'-rical Buddha or from the Jataka 
stories. These wonderful marbles, accord- 
ing to a reliable account given to me by 
some leaders of the village, were dumped 
under a tree and left there uncared for 
until someone from Pondicherry appeared 
on the scene and furtively bought up the 
whole lot for an insignificant sum of less 
than Rs. 5000/-. Thus did we lose for 
good the art treasures of Ghantasala, 
which toJay occupy a place of pride in 
the Musee Guimet. 

As I have not visited the rest of the 
Buddhist sites in Andhra I cannot speak 
about them with personal knowledge. 
But 1 should, perhaps, mention here in 
passing that fresh excavations are now 
taking place at alihundam, on the south 
bank of the Vamsadhara in the Sri- 
kakulani District, and it is reported that 
some very important finds have come 
to light. Buried in the mounds yet 
to be dug up in many other places, there 
are, I ani sure, invaluable treasures of the 
period when the saffron robe was adding 
its rich and resplendent colour to the 
Andhra scene. 

With Amaravati as its|main base, it shed 
its light far and wide. It crossed the 
seas to inspire the sculptors of South- 
East Asia as re-affirmed by the latest 
book of Dr. Reginald Le May, The Culture 
of South-East Asia. The influence of 

Amaravati, according to this writer, "was 
felt architecturally in Ceylon and in Lower 
Central Siam, and possibly reached as far 
as Sumatra in the South." The influence 
of Amaravati, according to this writer* 
" was felt architecturally in Ceylon and in 
Lower Central Siam and possibly reached 
as far as Sumatra in the south." Disagree- 
ing with the traditional view that Bud- 
dhism reached Java and Borneo from 
Gujarat and the mouths of the Indus, he 
draws pointed attention to the fact that 
"the earliest images of the Buddha found 
at Sempaga in the Celebes, in the south of 
the province of Jember (Eastern Java) 
and on the hill of Seguntang at Palenabang 
in Sumatra are all in the Amaravati 
style of Eastern India." Another re- 
cent book, The Art and Architecture of 
jndia by Mr. Benjamin Rowland, also 

speaks of this wide-spread influence of 
Amaravati. Says Mr. Rowland : " Owing 
to its commercial and religious affiliations, 
the influence of the Anclhra Empire was 
enormously wide-spread ; not only was 
the style of Amaravati extended to Ceylon, 
but Buddhist images in the Andhra Style 
of the second and third centuries A.D. 
have been found as far away as Dong- 
duong in Champa (modern Indo-China) 
and at Sempaga in the Celebes." Could 
it be a mere accident that the region of 
Dong-duong also bears the name of 
Amaravati ? Indeed, the age of Amara- 
vati and Nagarjunakonda is the golden 
age of Indian art and its lustre would 
remain imperishable as long as even a 
broken piece of their wonderful friezes is 
left to beckon us to a just society that 
is free from caste and cruelty, and to a 
new world that is above hate and strife. 

A sculpture on the support of Sinha Stambha Amaravati 

^VA#T^ vr. 

Principal Buddhist 

Remains in Andhra 

by B. K. THAPAR 

(Superintendent, Department of Archaeology, South Eastern Circle) 

1 Decay is inherent in all 
'component things' 


'T'he first historical figure in Indian history 
is that of Gautama $akyamuni who 
was born probably in the year 563 B.C., 
at Kapilavastu on the Nepalese border 
and passed into parinirvana " from which 
there is no return '' in circa 483 B.C. 
With him Indian history emerges from 
legend and tradition. Of all the religious 
remains of early historical period so far 
discovered in India, those of Buddhism 
are by far the largest and Buddha, to 
quote Kenneth Saunders, ' is decidedly 
India's greatest son ' and teacher who dis- 
claimed either divine birth or supernatural 
powers and yet was deified. Buddha's 
teachings explained by him through many 
sermons are not a subject matter of this 
paper and are not therefore alluded to. 
After his death his disciples solemnly 
cremated the Enlightened One's body. A 
dispute arose over his remains which were 
distributed among his followers and were 
enshrined as relics contained in reliquaries 
of crystal, gold, or other material in 
mounds of brick and earth in the shape of 
tumuli known as stupfis in many parts of 
India. Other stupas containing the re- 
mains of locally revered monks and ascet- 
ics rose up all over India in succeeding 
centuries. As'oka unearthed the ashes of 

the Buddha from their original places and 
divided them still further. 1 

In the course of a century or so after 
the death of the Buddha, the sarhghfi 
established by the Tathagata himself 
started showing disruption resulting into 
a schism into Sthcravadins and Mahft- 
sanghlkas. As the differences between 
these two sects grew wider, new ideas 
developed which later were to form the 
basis of the division of Buddhism into the 
' Lesser ' and ' Greater Vehicle ' (Hinayana 
and Mahayana). This happened round 
about the 1st- 2nd century A.D. and is 
commonly associated with the reign of 
Kanishka. The latter, viz. the Greater 
Vehicle became rapidly popular in many 
parts of India. The concepts of both art 
and religion underwent a great change. 
The Buddha of Mahfiyana Buddhism was 
no longer a moral teacher but a God whose 

/. General view of the. stnall stvpa at Ainarava 

1. A.L, Basham. ' The Wonder that was India 
(London, 1954) p 2C3. 

Remains of the Buddha Caitya at Nagarjiinakonda 

Nagarjunakonda: Panel showing Renunciation 

. Nagarjunakonda : Panel showing Bodhisattva 
escending from Heaven in the form of Elephant 

ixistence is eternal and who is worshipped 
temples etc. It was a process of 
deification whereas in the earlier school 
Hinayana), his disciples would refrain 
rom depicting him in bodily form. His 
iresence was indicated only by symbols 
uch as lotus flower, a Bodhi tree, the 
heel of the Law, a stTpa, empty throne 
r a pair of foot-prints etc. Mainly, three 
ypes of monuments came to be associated 
ith the Buddhist faith both in the 
Inayfma and Mahayuna forms, namely, 
tapas or sepulchral mounds symbolizing 
the enshrinement of the sacred relics, 
vihfiras or monasteries where the Buddhist 
monks resided and caityfis or chapels 
which originally meant the same as the 
word stupa but subsequently came to 
signify a temple in which the stupa 
occupied a prominent place. 

* * * 

Few periods in Indian history have 
aroused more attention than what is 
commonly called the Andhra Period. This 
period is of supreme importance in the 
growth of what Sardar K. M. Pannikar 
calls as * the neo-Aryan civilization in the 
south '. The precise chronology of the 
Andhra dynasty is, however, beyond the 
scope of this article. The earliest mention 
of the Andhrus is in the Aitareya Brah- 
mana as one of the tribes of South India. 
They are known to be living on the out- 
skirts of the Aryan settlement several 
centuries before the commencement of the 
Christian era : they are mentioned as one 
of the tribes ' in the king's territory ' in 
Agoka's inscription. 1 Foreign writers like 
Megasthenes and Pliny also refer to the 
Andhrfts as a great and powerful race. 
They are also alluded to in the Puranas.* 

1. Hultzsch. Corpus Inscriptionium Indicarum, 
Vol. I, p. 25. 

2. Pargitor. Dynasties of the Kali Age, p. 72. 

Ptolemy describes inter alia some of 
their ports. After the death of As 'oka, 
the Andhras assumed independence and 
their kings the S'atavahanas extended 
their dominion in all directions until 
Andhrados'a included a large portion of 
the peninsula. The period of S'atavahana 
rule in the Deccan (3rd century B.C. to 
3rd century A.D.) witnessed the growth 
of commercial and colonial intercourse 
and the development of Buddhist culture 
and art. Apparently the period covers 
both the schools of Buddhist faith, the 
Hinayana, the lesser vehicle and the 
Mahayana, the greater vehicle. In no 
part of India can be keen such a large 
number of ancient Buddhist sites as in 
Andhra. The date of the introduction of 
Buddhism in Andhra cannot, however, be 
fixed with any measure of certainty but it 
is evident that the earliest historical 
monuments of Andhra are Buddhist> none, 
however, being pre-A^okan. 1 In the words 
of the notable French historian Jouveau 
Dubreuil ' The Andhras seem to us a 
glorious race. To them we owe the school 
of Amaravati sculpture, the philosophical 
school of Nagarjuna '. Amaravati, Nag- 
firjunakonda, Jaggayyapeta, Goli, Ghan- 
tasala, Gummadidurru, Gudivada, Bhatti- 
prolu, Guntupalli, Adurru, S'ankaram, 
Ramatlrtham and S'aUhundam are only a 
few of the places that have been discovered 
or are lying still unexplored waiting for 
the spade of the archaelogist. 

To describe all the Buddhist sites in 
Andhrades'a is a formidable task and in 
retrospect I wonder that I ever had the 
courage to undertake it especially to fit 
into the scheme of this present souvenir. 
Such an attempt is, to a large extent, a 
compilation from the work of others to 
whom I am deeply beholden. I have, 

1 Early Buddhist literature refers to the school 
of Andhaka monks which was special only to 

5. Nagarjunakonda : J'ain'-l showing turn 
the Dharma Cakra 

ng of 


*|.- V ^j 

6. Nagarjunakonda : Panel showing 
from Sibijataka 

7. General view of the Buddhist stupa at 


)JO. on the West of tit?, hilc 

however, not attempted to present a de- 
tailed description with the great mass 
of evidence available but have rather 
touched the fringes in the hope that the 
reader may be able to assess its signifi- 
cance relative to the subject being in- 

Most of the early Buddhist monuments 
described below are on or near the banks 
of river Krishna. Apart from the facility 
of a water-side for such religious esta- 
blishments, the personality of the great 
Buddhist apostle, Nagarjuna, was one of 
the main deciding factors for such a 
concentration. He found a congenial place 
in the Krishna region for the spread of 
his faith and had the royal support of the 
S'atavfthana rulers most of whom, though 
not Buddhists, tolerated the Buddhist 
faith. Not only that, they further 
embellished Amaravati by additions and 
repairs and made it their own capital. 

Amaravati (Pt 1) 

Of all the Buddhist sites in Andhra* 
Amaravati is by far the most magnificent 
as also widely-known. Though at present 
a squalid little viilage, it was once the 
capital of Andhra and represents the 
ancient city called Dhariyakataka, 1 a 
place of considerable note from 200 B.C- 
It is situated a little over 20 miles from 
Guntur on the south bank of the Krishna 
river. A richly decorated stupa locally 
known as Dlpaladinne or hillock of lamps 
under worship as late as the twelfth 
century was despoiled towards the end of 
the eighteenth century by local people 
in the anxiety to obtain building material, 
thinking that marble slabs formed excel- 
lent raw material for lime-kiln. Thus was 
lost the full story of the artistic achieve- 
ment for which pre-eminence is claimed. 
Subsequently other various explorers nota- 

1. It is the original namo of Amaravati and ia 
found in two of its inscriptions. 

bly Colonel Mackenzie and R. Sewell tried 
to salve the disjecta membra most of 
which are now preserved in the Madras 
Museum. Some of the sculptured slabs 
comprising spoils of the stupa and the 
railings which found their way to London 
are displayed along the walls of the grand 
staircase of the British Museum. 

Burgess writing towards the close of 
the 19 tli century found the site converted 
into a large pit the whole area was 
cleared of earth, and also of any traces 
that may have existed of the original 
stupa above the level of foundations. Our 
knowledge about this stupa, the precise 
dimensions of the pile etc., therefore, is 
derived from imperfect observation of 
Colonel Mackenzie. 

The stupa in its earliest form possibly 
a mound of mud and brick existed round 
about 200 B. C. as evidenced by an 
inscription and fragments of early scul- 
ptures, distinguished by their low relief 
from that of later work. The style of 
these sculptures is roughly identical to 
thit of Bharhut. The sculptured casing 
slabs and the great railing are additions 
of the late 2nd century A. D. The railing 
around the stupa is considered by Coo- 
maraswamy as the most elaborate ever 
made and is certainly a magnificent exam- 
ple of such a structure. It measured 192 
feet in diameter and stood 13 or 14 feet 
high above the pavement. It was cons- 
tructed of upright slabs connected by 
three cross-bars between each pair of 
uprights. The surface of these bars was 
decorated with full and half discs inters- 
persed with minor sculptures. The inside 
of the rail was more richly carved. These 
discs show delicate sculptures from 
Buddhist legend. The plinth also was 
decorated with friezes of animals and 
boys in ludicrous position. The slabs 
forming the casing of the stupa, 162 feet 
in diameter, were richly carved: the 

3 L 


/2. Rrtmntirtha-w 

o I 6 f 

the #///, Cttit 

\ A ('nitya wv'M 

?c / ?r h/i Icci ii / fa 

of erf/* iij 
n.t #/ f.J in'uhhttkt 

principal object being a highly decorated 
stupa with its railing. Every inch of the 
space was sculptured sometimes with 
walled and moated cities, palaces, buil- 
dings and tor an a s. 

This great marble dome surrounded by 
a sculptured rail and rising to a height 
of 100 feet when fresh and perfect would 
have been unrivalled in the world. Around 
this stlpa were other monastic buildings 
and numerous small caityfis. On festival 
occasions the whole surface of the dome 
was littered over with lamps which against 
the darkness of the night made it look 
like a virtual hill of lamps; the popular 
name handed down being Dlpfiladinne. 

In the words of Coomaraswamy "it 
would be hardly possible to exaggerate 
the luxurious beauty or the technical 
proficiency of the Amaravati reliefs; this 
is the most voluptuous and the most 
delicate flower of Indian sculpture ". The 
same writer continues to add " The 
statues of Buddha in the mound are mag- 
nificent and powerful creation, much 
more nearly of Anurfidhapura (Ceylon) 
than that of Mathurfi type ". Like all 
great arts, the art of Amaravati is natio- 

nal rather than provincial in character 
and eifect. There is a great similarity 
between the art of Amaravati with that 
of Bhftrhut in the early phase and Nasik 
and Kanheri in the later phase. 

Close by, is a mound which may repre- 
sent the ancient township of Dhjinya- 
katakfi. Tradition asserts that it was a 
walled town. Surface collections of pottery 
etc. has already put this site to circa 
1st century B. C. Further work in the 
form of a scientific dig will bring out the 
potentialities of the site. 

Nagarjunakonda ( Pis 2 to 6 ) 

No less important is the Buddhist site 
at Nagarjunakonda which lies on the right 
bank of the Krishna river in Guntur 
district. It is a mountain-girt valley 
about 3 miles in width. The place takes 
its name from Nagiirjuna, a Buddhist 
monk of great repute who founded Madhya- 
mika school and governed the church 
for nearly 60 years and who lived in 
2nd-3rd century A. D. The city which 
once stood in the valley is referred to as 
Vijayapuri in one of the inscriptions which 
show that in the 2nd or 3rd century A. D. 

Panoramic view 

the ancient city of Vijayapurl must have 
been one of the largest and most impor- 
tant Buddhist settlement in Southern 
India. It was also a seat of learning 
where visitors from all parts of India, 
Ceylon and China came. The area occu- 
pied by the ruins is far greater than at 

The site was discovered in 1926 by Shri 
A. R. Sarasvati and has been scientifically 
excavated by Longhurst and Ramachan- 
dran between the years 1926-31 and 
1938-40. Since the whole site is proposed 
to be submerged under water as a result 
of the irrigation -project called the Nagar- 
junasfigar dam, an intensive and extensive 
programme of excavation has again been 
launched in the valley since 1954 to 
unearth the ancient relics and preserve 
some of the outstanding objects of art in 
a museum built on the site itself. 

Previous excavations had revealed re- 
mains of stupas, viharas, caityas, manda- 
pas, a palace site etc. All the buildings 
were made of kiln-burnt bricks laid in 
mud mortar and the walls were plastered. 
The pillars, floors and important sculp- 
tures were of white or grey limestone. 

The slabs adorning the drum of the 
decorated stupas were carved, the favou- 
rite scenes depicted being representations 
of stupas. The slabs ornamenting the 
fiyaka platform portrayed scenes of lead- 
ing events of the life of Gautama Buddha 
illustrating stories from Jfitakas. 

Noteworthy of the monuments so far 
excavated, however is the Mahacaitya 
with a diameter of 106 feet and rising to 
a height of nearly 80 feet. The ground 
phin of the stupa is that of a wheel with 
the hub and spokes. It symbolises in the 
words of Benjamin Rowland * the idea of 
the cosmic axis surrounded by concentric 
rings.' This stupa appears to have had 
a railing with open gateways and stood 
on brick foundations. It also yielded the 
relic (probably of the Buddha Himself) 
not from the centre but from the outer 
retaining wall on the north side. This 
relic is now housed in Milagamdhakutl 
vihara at Sarnath. 

Nagfirjunakonda, although lacking the 
rich sculptural decoration of Amaravati, 
stands today as the best monument of 
the epoch when the Iksvakas were ruling 
in the Andhra country in 2nd-3rd centuries 

of Nagarjunakonda 

i frieze 

A. D. Curiously enough the kings of this 
dynasty followed Brahmanism while their 
consorts were devotees of Buddhism and 
raised stupas and monasteries in honour 
of the Enlightened One. The pillar inscrip- 
tion of the Great Stupa at Nfigarjuna- 
konda acquaints us with the names of such 
ladies of the royal house. Religion was 
here an inspiring agent for the promotion 
of arts. 

Jaggayyapeta (PI. 7) 

The ancient site lies 3 miles to the 
north-west of Amaravati on the Paler 


river, a tributary of the Krishna, 
about four miles north of their junc- 
tion. Anciently known as Betavolu, 
it was renamed Jaggayyapeta by the 
zamindar of Amaravati who re-cons- 
tructed the village. The discovery of 
a few carved slabs from one of the 
brick mounds in 1818 revealed the 
existence here of a group of ancient 
stupas. The following year when 
Burgess visited the site he found that 
the place had been so long dug over 
for bricks and slabs that traces of 
only one stupa were left. The stupa 
after excavation was found to be31.V 
feet in diameter and was faced with 
slabs of the same material as those 
at Amaravati. The rail around the 
stupa had entirely disappeared. Inside 
the casing the stupa was made of 
earth and bricks. The slabs surround- 
ing the base of the stupa were mostly 
plain, very few of them having any 
carving except a small pilaster up the 
edge. Some of the sculptures on the 
pilasters closely resemble in style 
Bharhut sculptures as also the earliest 
ones at Amaravati. The capitals are 
heavy and roughly bell-shaped and 
show addorscd double-winged animals like 
that at Pitalkhora. Some -of the slabs 
were inscribed in characters of the Mauryan 
type ascribable to the beginning of the 
2nd century B. G. The carving of the 
slabs of the basement were in low relief 
similar to those of the early sculptures at 
Amaravati. The projections from the 
drum of the stupa facing each of the 
gates were distinctly available on the 
south, west and north. Large pillars or 
stelae were also lying near about these 
points. On one of the pillars is an ins- 
cription of about 3rd-4th century A. D. 


The Chantasala 

1. The shaded por- 
tion illustrates the 
mound, whereas the 
dots indicate what 
might have been the 
shape of the stupa 
that existed 

2. The central shaded 
square shows the cubi- 
cal construction in the 
centre o f the stupa ; 
The four cross-wise 
walls that diverged 
from the centre can 
be seen. 

14. Ramatlrtham : A brick caitya on the top 

The distinction of the site, however, lies 
in the number of early reliefs of high 
interest ascribable to the Hinayana faith. 


It lies in Palnad taluk of Gunfclir district 
on the Goll3ru, a tributary of the river 
Krishna. In 1926 Dr. Dubreuil excavated 

15. Salihundam: Stupas after clearance 

portions of a small stupa. The place is 
now known as Mallavaram as recorded by 
Sewell in his 'List of Antiquarian Remains 
of the Madras Presidency' Vol. 2 (1882), 
p. 60. The sculptures from the excavated 
stupa were acquired for the Madras 
Museum, where they are now displayed 
and are excellently described by T. N- 
Ramachandran in a Bulletin of the Madras 
Government Museum. The sculptures 
have a close relationship to those of the 
last period at Amaravati which is com- 
monly assigned to third century A. D. 

Ghantasala (PL 8) 

It lies in the Divi taluk of Krishna 
district 13 miles west of Masulipatam. 
Herein, remains of an important Buddhist 
stupa were revealed by the discovery of 
an important sculptural slab in the year 
1919-20. The main scene is portrayed in 
a circular medallion, 1'5" in diameter, in 
bas-relief in the style of Amaravati 
sculptures and shows the return to Kapila- 
vastu of the horse and groom of the 
Bodhisattva Siddhartha after the lattcr's 
1 Renunciation '. The slab must have 
originally formed part of a casing slab of 
a Buddhist stupa. The Buddhist mound 
at that place had, however, been reported 
as early as 1871 by Boswell. The stupa 
had a cube of solid brickwork in centre 
with cross walls meeting the outer circular 
wall. It had also a procession path along 
with projections on cardinal directions. 
Other slabs recovered are not much of 


It is a taluk headquarters and lies 
twenty miles north-west of Masulipatam. 
The existence of a stupa at this place was 
brought to notice by Boswell in 1870. 
Anciently the mound containing the stupa 
was known as Lanjadibba or harlot's 
mound. The story goes that a dancing 

Nagarjunakonda : Plan of the excavated mound : River Krshna on the left and Nagarjunakonda 

on the right (/) Maha Caitya, said to be built by Nagarjuna (2), (3), (4) Viharas (5) Viharas 

for the Ceylonese Buddhists (6) Mahisasaka Vthara (7) The Ikshvdku palace (8) A University 

of those days (.9) The famous Temple of Harltl 

girl who lived on top of the mound and 
only took meals once a day, raised this 
mound. This stupa also had been ex- 
cavated by the local people to provide 
bricks for road making, possibly the high- 
way between Bezwada and Bandar. The 
site was also subsequently visited by Sewell 
and Burgess. According to the former, 
this stupa must have been of the same 
size as the famous Sanchi stupa. The 
basal area covered is nearly 140 feet 
square. It is also surmised that the rail 
may have been made of brick or wood as 
no traces of stone exist in the neighbour- 
hood. Four stone receptacles each con- 
taining a crystal reliquary were also found 
from this stupa. It is not exactly known 
whether the caskets were deposited 
around or near the centre or the circum- 

Alexander Rea did some excavation in 
1894 and found traces of circular courses 
of brick work but owing to the limited 
space and the greater spoliation already 
done, it was found impossible to ascertain 
the full details and size of the stupa. 

Remains of an ancient township are 
also reported on the outskirts of the 
village wherefrom bricks, pottery, coins 
and beads were collected. Some of the 
coins belong to the Andhra dynasty. A 
very interesting coin ' bore the figure of a 
Roman or Greek galley with a rather 
crescent-shaped hull, two masts and a 
large oar-shaped rudder '. Tradition asserts 
that the place was anciently fortified 
containing within its boundaries 99 Bud- 
dhist stupas. 



It is a small village in the Repalle taluk 
of the Krishna district and contains the 
remains of a Buddhist stupa located on a 
mound locally called Lanja dibba. It was 
also mentioned by Boswell in 1870. The 
tope was subsequently visited by Walter 
Elliot and Sewell who reported that the 
stupa had been absolutely demolished and 
no traces of any sculptured stones could 
be discovered there. In 1892, however, 
Alexander Rea did some excavations and 
as a result thereof found three inscribed 
votive caskets containing minor stone and 
crystal caskets, relics and jewels. The 
stupa was found to be 132 feet in diameter 
with an additional basement 8 feet wide 
running all around. 

Most of the marbles of the basement 
wall-panels had, however, disappeared. 
Traces of rails were available only to a 
restricted extent. A few broken members 
of the pilasters and the marble umbrella 
show archaic sculptures in the style of 
Jaggayyapeta. The character of the ins- 
criptions also Corroborate this inferrence. 

Guntupalli (pi. 9) 

It is situated miles to the west of 
Kfimavarapukota in the Eluru taluk of 
the West Godavari district. In a horse- 
shoe ravine, so characteristic of Ajanta and 
Pitalkhora, were located some of the rock- 
cut Buddhist shrines-caityas with stupas 
and viharas. Besides, in the same locality 
were found ruins of a brick chaitya, a 
stone-built stupa, a large mandapa etc. 
Of all these remains, the circular chaitya, 
however, is the most interesting. On plan 
the chaitya is circular. In the centre is a 
huge rock-cut model of a stupa. It had, 
as usual, a vaulted roof showing rock-cut 
ribs. Its facade was horse-shoe shaped. 


The facade of this chaitya very closely 
resembles the Lorn ah rishi rock-cut shrine 
in Barabar close to Gaya in Bihar. The 
latter also contains a circular shrine 
chamber of approximately the same dimen- 
sion. Barabar group of caves seem to 
have been excavated during A^oka's reign 
presumably by the Buddhists. The simi- 
larity between the Barabar Shrines 
and that at Guntupalle seems to indicate 
that the latter was executed soon after 
the former. 

Close to the' chaitya was also a mona- 
stery for the accommodation of the 
monks. It is also an early type of vihara 
with archaic features. 


Remains of a Buddhist Mahastupa were 
recently (in the year 1940) discovered at 
Adurru, near Nagaram in Razolc taluk of 
the East Godavari district. The village 
lies on the west bank of the Vainetaya 
branch of the Godavari river miles from 
the open sea. The local zamindar had as 
usual excavated a considerable part of the 
mound containing the stupa. The mound is 
locally known as Dubaraju Gudi. In the 
year 1053 the Department of Archaeology 
sunk a few trenches to assess its archaeo- 
logical potentialities. Notable amongst 
the structures brought to light was a 
mahastupa 60 feet in diameter with a 
raised platform running all around the 
drum and ayaka platforms on cardinal 
sides. From the brick debris it is evident 
that the monastic establishments con- 
nected with the stupa must have covered 
a large area. The importance of the site, 
however, lies in its location in the East 
Godavari district wherei very few Buddhist 
remains have so far been noticed. 

S'ankaram (Pis 10, 11) 

The Buddhist ruins are located on two 
contiguous hills, two miles to the north 

of Anakapalli Railway Station. They 
consist of numerous monolithic dagobas^ 
stupfis, caves and structural buildings- 
On the east hill there are a number of 
monolithic and structural dagobas besides 
monastic buildings proper; the west hill 
being covered with monolithic dagobas. 
Some of the monolithic stupas and cells 
and perhaps the three structural apsidal 
caitya halls date from the 1st century 
and 2nd century B. C. though the site 
continued in occupation upto the Pallava 

Ramatirtham (Pis 12, 13, 14) 

Ramatirtham in Visfikijapatnam district 
is another site where Buddhist remains 
have been unearthed. Here on one of the 
hills known as Gurubhaktakonda, the 
extensive ruins of a Buddhist monastery 
wore laid bare. Besides, a number of 
caityas and a stupa were also found. 
Some of the brick caitya halls may be 
quite early. A large number of pottery 
was also recovered from the excavations. 

Situated west and connected by a 
saddle with Gurubhaktakonda is the hill 
known as Durgakonda which also origi- 
nally contained Buddhist monuments but 
was subsequently occupied by the Jains 
and thereafter by the Hindus. 

S'alihundam (PI 15) 

The little village of S'alihundam is 
situated on the south bank of Vams'adhSra 

river in Srlkulam district. It is six miles 
to the west of old sea port town of 
Kalingapatnam. The site was brought 
to the notice of the Government in 1919. 
On the hill over-looking the river were 
discovered a large number of Buddhist 
remains consisting of Stupas and circular 
caityas, apsidal temples. Excavation of 
some of these structures yielded inter alia 
beautiful sculptures of Buddha and votive 
stupas besides crystal reliquaries. All the 
monuments and images at S'alihundam, 
however, belong to the later Buddhist 
period excepting a few brick remains 
which seem to be a little older. 

The site, because of its potentialities, 
was again subjected to a scientific dig in 
1953 and yielded besides inscribed stones* 
the rouletted ware, also inscribed in good 
many cases, a terracotta relic casket with 
gold flowers and a piece of bone in it, 
inscribed conches, coins and seals. From 
the inscriptions, it is gathered that the 
original name of the village S'alihundam 
was Salipetaka (emporium of rice) and the 
hill on which Mahavihara was situated 
was know as Maha-uga-pavvata. The 
inscriptions range in date from 2nd to 
about 6th century A. D. 

" He who pays homage to those who deserve 
homage, whether the Awakened (Buddhas) or 
their disciples, those who have overcome the host 
of ovils and crossed the flood of sorrow he who 
pays homage to such as have found deliverence 
and know no fear, his merit can never be measured 
by anyone." 



Ohe filctce thai 

awaits the 
surgical knife 
of Archaeologists 


Oituated within a distance of one mile to 
the East of Muktyala village and 
lying to the North of the Kistna River 
there is a depopulated village by name 
Bhogalapadu in Nandigama Taluk of 
Krishna District. Though the entire gudi- 
cut of the village is cultivated with dry 
crops there is one particular place in 
village where there are mounds of ' pati J 
earth lying close to one another. White 
granite stones, broken pieces of earthen 
pots, and ash are found in the surface 
layers of the mounds. As the depopulated 
village lies close to the River it gets sub- 
merged during the flood season. Though 
the village is without activity and lifeless 
yet it does not fail to strike one when he 
visits the place that it had a glory and 
heritage which are unfortunately sealed in 
the cells of oblivion. 

I remember a story about this village 
narrated by the aged of the Muktyala 
village. It appears that some eighty years 
back a ryot while tilling the land found a 
treasure-trove containing some gold coins. 
He removed the trove to his house. Shortly 
afterwards two of his nearest relations 
died. The death of these was attributed 
to the existence of the treasure in the 
house. He was afraid that the trove 
might demand further toll. He therefore 
removed it outside and deposited it some- 
where which is not known even to this 
day. Some of the members of older gene- 
ration whom I contacted confirmed the 
authenticity of the strange story. 

It was our revered Late Prabhakara 
Sastry Garu who directed our attention to 
Bhogalapadu village and explained the 
ancient relics and importance of the vil- 
lage. Inaugurating the Navya Sahitya 
Parish ad held in 1940 in Muktyala village 
$rl Sastry garu referred to certain des- 
criptions of Muktyala surroundings in 


/. The Inscribed lime-stone slab deciphered as ' Diccu Ceruvu 

^atavahana Sapta Sati' written two thou- 
sand years ago and said: "You might have 
noticed the Buddhistic Stupa standing on 
the hillock on the left side of the road by 
the side of the Palace. From that place 
onwards till we reach Muktyala you would 
have noticed thick growth of Moduga 
trees.' On seeing the Buddhistic monks 
prostrating before Buddha, and also notic- 
ing the red coloured flowers fallen from 
the Moduga trees, Suranna, a poet compo- 
sed the following couplet. 

Just before his death, 3rl Prabhakara 
Sastry garu came to this place with a 
strong desire to get the excavations done 
in this area. In fact some attempts in 
thip direction were also made. But the 
circumstances then prevailing and our men- 
tal make up were not in tune with the 
moves of Sr! Pastry garu, with the result 
that we were not fortunate enough to get 
the excavations done under his supervision. 

Subsequently thinking that the excava- 
tion of the area might throw some light 


into the closed cellars of oblivion we 
conducted operations during 9th to 15th 
March 1953. It is to be noted that our 
operations confined to such of the area 
which was causing obstruction for culti- 
vation in the home-farm lands of the 
Zamindar of Muktyala. Even in such a 
limited extent, it can be said without 
hesitation, the results obtained are of 
profound importance. 

Pieces of earthen pots, stones contain- 
ing edicts, bones, metal discs, beads, jewels, 
kangans, playthings, bricks-all these came 
to light. (The details of the above can 
be seen in the appendix. All the ar- 

tides shown in the photos are those 
which have been found there.) To these 
who are not able to evaluate them pro- 
perly, these items appear to be as mere 
clay and stones. But to the students of 
history, it goes without saying that these 
are of inestimable value throwing a flood 
of light into the forgotten past. 

The design of the underground constru- 
ction of the mound which we excavated 
is detailed below. From the manner in 
which it was designed and from the arti- 
cles which we found therein we concluded 
that it was a Buddhistic Vihar. Rising 
from the groundlevel to a height of 30 

Another Inscribed lime-atone slab deciphered as ' Rati Vilasa $rl 


feet, the mound has a circumference of 
200 ft at the top. Here and there we 
found bricks measuring 18"x5"x3" embo- 
died in the mound. It has to be noted that 
the bricks either of the type mentioned 
above or of the measurements specified 
are not used in the neighbourhood. 
Exactly at the centre on the top of the 
mound 4 stone pillars are planted in rows 
of two, facing each other. The dimensions 
of the pillars are 8"x4"x5". These are 
two feet deep into the ground. Two 
stones of the same dimensions are placed 
on the top of the pillars facing north to 
south. This type of the placement of the 
stones is locally known as ' Umbrella ' 
type and the two stones thus placed are 
called as Umbrella Stones. At the Eastern 

side there is a narrow opening just 
sufficient enough for the man to enter. 
The interior is not visible from the surface. 
North to the pillars and adjacent to them 
there is a very big neem tree. It is not 
known from how long it was there. But 
one thing seems to be certain and that is 
that the neem tree had its birth only 
after the construction of the relic. This 
is the picture of the outward appearance 
of the Vihar. 

The white stones used in the construc- 
tion of the relic are not available anywhere 
in the locality or the surrounding areas. 
Great trouble would have to be experien- 
ced in carrying them from distant places. 
It is not also a job which could be 
handled bv one or two persons. 

3. In the left corner, On the back side of the slab, on which is inscribed 
r Diccu Ceruvu rl ', some other letters, not decipherable are to be seen paca (?) Sana (?) 


The first item of work which we 
attended was to remove the Umbrella 
stones stones placed on the pillars. Then 
we proceeded with the Excavation of the 
mound. Below are the details of situa- 
tion which we noticed. 

Lying to the east of the structure on 
either side, there are two white stones 
square in size planted facing north and 
south directions. The broken and unfini- 
shed heads of these stones only are 
visible above the ground level. These 
pillars might have been 5 to 6 feet in 
length. They are one foot square through- 
out. They are separated by ten feet, 
Leaving the said broken portion visible on 
the ground level, the length of the pillar in 
the earth is 4 feet. Under each of these 
pillars there is a stone, the dimensions of 
which are 24x18x5. There are certain 
letters carved on these pillars, But these 
are not clear. One of the letters can 
be identified as 4 3j'. The rest are un- 
known. Behind the pillars there are two 
white stones containing certain words 
which are clearly seen. The dimensions 

of these stones are "2xl8"x5". A close 
scrutiny of these stones reveals that these 
can be traced to the Ishvaku Era. There 
are certain letters en the left hand corner 
.of the back side of the stone shown in 
picture no. 1. 

Lying to the North of this relic, we 
found a big earthen jar buried in the 
ground. Half of the pot contains solidified 
chunam which is harder than coment, of 
similar condition. It was a difficult task 
to get it out. The jar was broken. Behind 
the relic in a north westernly direction 
there is a wall. There are white stone 
pillars in the wall placed lengthwise. They 
are nearly 5J feet high with a thickness 
of 4" to 6". We found a hole drilled into 
one of these stones making it a nest 
wherein are placed melted copper discs. 
Certain items of metal works resembling 
puja samagri were secreted. (Items found 
in photo 8.) Earthen pots, pieces of pottery, 
beads all these were found scattered. Pie- 
ces of earthen pots are of various colours. 
Beads have a narrow hole. A copper ring 
which is generally worn either to the leg or 



The grave at Virula bodu prior to excavation. 

ne excuvauun. j. ncre van UK seen a note in me intervening 
slab, over which there are the initials which we deciphered as Lu - Vi - Sri. 

to the hand is also found, The beads are 
not of glass. We believe that they are 
valuable. Anyway it has to be decided 
by experts in the field. 

Around the construction there are stone 
pillars, planted in the ground, with a 
strong foundation of stones, sand and 20 
feet deep into the ground. A dais con- 
structed with bricks is seen. Around the 
dais there are steps of Brick and of white 
stones. The inner dimensions of the dais 
are East to West 15 feet and north to 
south 21 feet. 

From the relics found out, the construc- 
tion employed and the design followed it 

has to be concluded that Buddhistic monks 
during the era of Ikshvaku kings con- 
structed a vihar here and certain Bud- 
dhistic priests frequented this vihar to 
propagate the tenets of Buddhism. 

It appears that the articles collected 
here bear a resemblance to those found at 
Nagarjuna konda and Mohanjadaro and 
Harappa. True it is that we have not 
excavated the deeper layers of the mound. 
Nor have we attempted to excavate the 
big mounds lying in the surroundings. 
Apart from the fact that enormous 
amounts are needed for the purpose, this 
work has to be done under expert super- 


vision, guidance and advice. Undoubtedly it 
is a job for the Government to take on and 
not for individuals to handle. We firmly 
believe that with the excavation of all 
these mounds many missing links of 
Andhra history could be traced. 

Some of the Edicts issued daring the 
reign of Maharajah Vlrapurusha Datta 
of Ikshvaku dynasty were found in Nagar- 
juna stupa and Jnggiahp~ta stupa. Of 
the names mentioned therein nearly thirty 

They were responsible for the spread of 
Buddhism by constructing stupas, viharas 
etc. At the same time they were per- 
forming Agnistoma, Vajapeya, Asvamctha 
and other similar rituals. 

According to the early history of Aridhra 
dynasties written by the renowned histo- 
rian Sri Bhavaraju Venkata Krishna Rao 
garu, thirty persons with names such as 
Chanti Sri, Adavi Chanti 3ri, Choola 
Chanti Sri, Upasika Bod hi Sri, Naga Sri, 

Length: 1' 

No. II X Breadth : 4' 




Length : 7' 

No. 1 

Breadth : 4' 

in number of both males and females were 
already identified. From the details of 
the proclamation in Nagarjunakonda 
stupa we find that the father of the 
adopted son Vlra purusha is Vasisti Putra 
ri Cantimula, and the son of the adopted 
is Vasishthiputta Ehavula Cantimula. 

Though these kings were the followers 
of Brahmins and performed yagas and 
other rituals, the historians point out they 
had a soft corner for the Buddhism as well. 

Sunilini 3ri, Mula Sri, Ayakoti Sri, Buddha 
3ri, &va Naga Sri, Nada Sri, Sivaraga 
Sri, Ratuma Sri, Naga Sri, were identified 
as those of the period now under 

Lying to the north of Bhogalapadu at a 
distance of four furlongs and East of 
JaggiahpSt Myktyala Road there is a 
place locally known as Irla Dibba. There 
are very big graves amidst stones planted 
in a circle. The local name of this place 

6. Two pillars are found in the excavations of the ' Bhogdlapadu' mound. 

(1) Six brick* of them regularly arranged. (2) The slabs that are placed 

behind and below the pillars. (3) In the right side, in Jront of the pillar 

a polished flat stone with a pestle over it, 

is Rakasigullu. We excavated two of the 

In the sketcli shown above there are 
some bones in a pot deposited at the 
place marked in No. I and some other 
bones in another pot laid at the spot 
marked X in No. II. In between the 
graves I and II there is a round hole in 
the wall at the place spotted with arrow, 
enabling one man to creep into grave 
No. II from grave No. I. The bones in 
grave no. I are of unusual size. From 
their appearance we came to the conclu- 
sion that they are not of human bones* 
In order to ascertain the nature of the 
bones we sought expert opinion, Dr. 
V. Ramachandra Rao, the Anatomy Pro- 
fessor of the Guntur Medical College 
pointed out that all the bones found in 
grave no. I were those of a horse, while 
those in no. II were those of a human 
being. Amongst the horse bones those 
that of the back-bone, jaw etc. were 

separated and shown. Just above the 
hole at the spot shown against the arrow 
there are 3 letters engraved in the stone. 
These letters are not clear. We could not 
take a photo of these letters nor could we 
obtain a clear picture with the process of 
Estonephage. These letters are very big 
in size. We are of the opinion that they 
resemble oo ^ . The letter below them is l z>* 

Very near to it we noticed another 
stone on which a horse is shown to be 
galloping at break, neck speed. This is 
exceedingly beautiful to look at. But 
somebody in recent times disfigured it. 
The entire face is scarred. 

From all the above we infer that the 
bones of the horse and bones of human 
being are those of a celebrated animal 
and of an equally renowned personage. 
It is evident that Ikshvaku kings, be he 
Virapurusha Datta or some other king, 
were renowned for performing the As- 
vamedha Yaga. The important item 


in the whole ritual is to leave a challeng- 
ing horse into the country. When such a 
horse was dead it was but natural that it 
would be given an honoured burial. Along 
with that, the owner or custodian of the 
horse also seems to have been buried at 
the same place. Otherwise it cannot be 
explained as to why a human being and a 
horse should share the same grave. Such 
sort of burial would not be given to 
ordinary folk. So far as the human bones 
are concerned we can concede that the 
burial is perfectly natural. The very fact 
that an animal is given the same honour 
as that of a human being shows that 
animal does not fall under the ordinary 
species. From their very situation the 
human bones' grave and the animals bones' 
grave linked through a hole in the separa- 
ting wall we cannot draw any other 
inference except the one give above. The 
very construction viz stones planted in 
a circle, placing of old rocks underneath, 
and rocks above to afford shelter of those 

graves shows the importance attached by 
the people and precautions taken to 
preserve them for long. 

Some may object to the above theory 
on the ground that for such a burial both 
the horse and the owner should have died 
simultaneously. The only point for con- 
sideration is whether it is impossible that 
the related were buried at the same place 
irrespective of their deaths at different 
times. It is absured to state that death 
should have taken place simultaneously in 
order to give such a burial. If it is 
contended that the above theory is a 
fancy, surely those who oppose it must 
come out with their own theory. 

The place under reference is locally 
known as * Irla Bodu J . Anybody who is 
acquainted with gabda gastra can easily 
say that ' Vlrula Bodu ' meaning (heroes ' 
graveyard) changed itself into Irlabodu. 
There must be some reason to call this by 
above name. The place where the heroes 
were buried may be called as Vlrla Bodu. 

7. The pots and potshreds obtained from the mound. Some of them decorated 
by various colours and some pieces patched up bt/ mortar can also be seen. 


One may not be at fault when one says it 
was customary to bury the warriors along 
with their horses during the Buddhistic 
period at this place. Out of the four or 
five graves which we examined the one 
which we referred above is unique. The 
grave is peculiarly situated. In the rest 
of the graves we could find nothing 
Bxtraordinary except broken pieces of 
pottery and bones. Sri Bhavaraju Venkata 
Krishna Rao considers this ' Irla B5du ' 
is nothing but ' Virula B6du ' being the 
grave yard of heroes. This is also not 

On the eastern and western sides of 
Muktyala village there are several grave 
yards locally known ss Rakasigullu, These 
atre situated on hillocks of considerable 
leight. Deep excavation is made in these 
places to provide space for graves. They 
ire 30 to 40 feet in circumference with 
stones of heavy weight planted on the 
3ircle. Just in the centre of the circle a 

piece of land 8x4 is selected and two slabs 
of the dimensions 8x6 are planted on 
either side up to \ of their length. Simi- 
larly slabs of 4x6 dimensions are planted 
breadthwise to \ of their length. 

One big slab is laid on the top of these 
four slabs. Very rarely do we find two 
graves in one and the same circle. Some 
of these have beee excavated. Nothing 
except small earthen pots with bones was 
found. On some of the small pots there 
are letters, resembling those of the 
Ikshvaku period. We could not make out 
anything of these letters. We could only 
imagine that these related to very old 
times. Small earthen pots of various 
designs and of various colours were found 

The local people say that these graves 
are demon graves and so the local name 

Innumerable of such graves are found 
along the Krishna River in Nandigama 

8. First row : Circular pieces of metal sheet (a lump of the metal can also 

be seen). Second row : Metal pramides of various sizes. Third row : Metal 

6ar, pieces,* and bangles. 


taluk. If the Archaelogical Department 
takes up the work we are sure certain 
historical incidents may come to light. 


1. Round me' 

bal discs seen 

in number 


(Fist row in Fig. 







1. 110 Tolas 




2. 97} 




3. 53 




4. 45 



5. 42 



0. 37J 

3 3 



7. 31 






13f Tolas 



























These appear to be used as either seals 
of office or for use as weights. Anyway 
these require further scrutiny. 

2. Small metal sheets circular and 
slightly oval in shape. Number found 9. 
(3rd item in First row of Fig. 8). 

copper thickness 

It is not known what for these were 
manufactured. It is not known which 
metal has been used for the purpose. 

3. Semi-circular moulded metal disc 
weighing 19 Tolas. Length: 4 V and Breadth: 
2J" (no. 4 in Fig no. 8). 

4. Set round metal plate weighing 
Tolas, 4 x 2 x J- (3rd row in fig. 8). 

9. First row : earthenware vessels and a hollow conical vessel of the same 

matter. Second row : Mortar, and tubes of clay . The last one is circular. 

Third row : Bored beads (not of glass but of unknown material) 

5. 6|" long metal bar weighing 21 
Tolas, (first in third row in fig. 8). 

6. Molted metal ball weighing 28 tolas 
(2nd in figure No. 8). 

7. Metal sheets circular in shape. 
Numbering 20. (5th in first row in 
% 8) 


1. 12 J Tolas 

2. 10 

3. 10J 

4. 14 

5. 11 

6. 8 

7. 12* 

8. 8J 

9. 8 

10. 7 

J 4 





slightly thicker 
than the above 
J anna 



In item No. 7. there is a circular slab 
with a circumference of one quarter anna. 

8. Metal implements. (3rd in 2nd row in 
fig No. 8), Appears to be the lid of some- 
thing. There is a knot also; weight: 14 

9. Copper casket with a hole in 
middle; weight: 12 tolas (item no. 2 in 
2nd row in figure No. 8). 

10. Something similar to pramide, used 
to offer Harati. Conical knot, 8 tolas in 
weight (1st in 2nd row in fig. 8). 

11. Copper pramide weighing 8| Tolas, 
(item no. 4 in 2nd row of fig. 8). 

12. Small pots of clay (items 4, 5 and 6 
in figure no. 9). 

13. Pramidelu made with clay 2 (Items 
1 and 3 in Fig. No. 9). 

14. Clay beads with holes inside, quarter 
anna in size 3 (items 1, 2 and 3 in 
fig. 9). 

10. Specimen bones of horse and man that ave found in the grave 


15. Cone made with clay 4" height and 
11" bottom circumfernce, It is not known 
what for this is intended. But it looks 
wonderful. (Item No. 2 in Fig. no. 9). 

16. 6J" Circumference clay wheel. 

17. Clay pipes 2 (Item 2 and 3 in 2nd 
row in Fig. no. 9). 

18. Small pots-2. 

19. Metal kangan, 2" diameter (item 
no. 4 in row 3 of Fig. 8). 

20. Blue colour bead with a hole in the 
middle, J" in length. (Item no. 6 in row 
no. 3 in fig. no. 9). . ; 

21. Circular bead with a hole in the 
middle (Item no. 5 in row no. 3 of figure 
no. 9). 

22. Clay bangle pieces (item no. 5 in 
row No, 2 of fig. no. 9) 

23. Bead without hole (item No. 4 in 
row no. 3 of Fig. no. 9). 

24. Pots ; pieces of pottery; chunam; 
colour pieces of pots. 

25. Bones Human and horse bones. 
Back bone, jaw and elbow bones (fig. 
No. 10). 

All these were found in Rakiisigudi 

11. Buddhist relief from Tumshug - Musee Guimet. 


12. (l)j The ^ i va temple of Kapotesvara at Cejerla (Quntur, Andhra) 

Note the apsidal shrine, suspected to have been originally a Buddhist Vihara 

(2) Ground plan of the same. 

Nayarjuna Painting by Tibetan Artist 

Buddhist Teachers 

who made Andhra 

their abode 

1. Nagirjuna 

^M^garjuna was the most outstanding of 
the Buddhist teachers who made 
Andhra their abode. According to one 
version he was born in Vidarbha. He was 
at a monastery near Dakshina Kosala 
according to Hieun-tsang. For him Death 
was averted at the age of seven. He 
mastered all Brahmanical knowledge and 
said to have attained siddhi by the favour 
of Tara at Kanchi, according to one version 
and by the grace of Chandika at Nalanda 
according to another. It is said that he 
journeyed to the Nagaloka where he could 
obtain the lost Buddhist work of Pragna- 
paramita. This is possibly Ceylon. From 
there he brought a casket of relics over 
which he constructed a great Stupa, 
probably the Mahacaitya at Nagarjuna- 
konda. For one hundred years after his 
death, temples were erected to his 
memory. He revised Susruta and is said 
to have written Kaksa Puta Tantra 
and Arogyamanjari. His eye prescription 
is well known in China. His poison-cures 
were praised by Poet Bana. His recipes 
for several diseases were inscribed on 
public pillars, He is said to have dis- 
covered the Elixir of Life by which he 
attained longevity. His great work is 
Rasaratnakara wherein he makes a refe- 
rence tojiis abode in Parvata and deals 
with experiment in which he tried to kill 
mercury, and diamod He mentions ano- 
ther scientist Sakanda of an earlier date. 
Nagarjuna invented the processes of distil- 
lation and calcination and was an autho- 
rity on minerals, He was the first to desc- 

ribe the process of roasting iron and prepa- 
ring the black sulphite of mercury. He con 
verted rocks into gold when the King req- 
uired funds for building the great Vihara 
at Parvata. Only 24 out of his many works 
are available. These are only some of them: 
Prajnaparamita sastra, Prajna mula 
sastra tika, Prajnapradlpa sastra karika, 
Mula-madhyamika sastra, Sunyasaptathi, 
Madhyantanugama sastra, Dasabhumi 
vibhasa sastra, Dvadasa Nikaya sastra, 
Vivada sainana sastra, Upaya K usalya 
hrdaya sastra, Vigraha Vyavartini Karika. 
Some of his quotations are : 

"The world has a conditional existence, 
neither absolutely real nor absolutely un- 
real... As a fact, no object has a nature 
of self -existence. Thus, the world is an 
aggreagatc of relations in virtue of which 
it revolves like a water-wheel..." Again, 
" origination and cessation, coming and go- 
ing, etc. the fundamental conceptions of 
relation are really unreal and give rise to 
our prejudice. There nestles in them the 
principle of unrest and misery, and as 
people cling to them their life is an ever- 
lasting prey to the pendulous feeling of 
exultation and mortification." " Where 
there is conditionally, there is no truth. 
So, to attain truth, conditionally must be 
completely cast aside. Then, you reach 
truth or void." " Sunyata is nirvana an 
unconditional condition in which all con- 
tradictions are reconciled." His theory of 
illusion possibly led to the Maya of San- 
kara and his practice of Mahayana to the 
Hindu Bhakti cult. 

Another great work was his Letter, cal- 
led Subrllekha, to .his King which was 
committed to memory by young and old 
in India when the traveller Itsing visited 
in 700 A.D. It has the advice "to practice 
the threefold wisdom so that we may clea- 
rly understand the noble eightfold path 


and the four truths to realize the twofold 
attainment of perfection. Like Avalokite- 
svara, we should not make any distinction 
between friends and enemies. We shall 
then live hereafter in the Sukhavati for 
ever, through the power of the Buddha 
Amitabha whereby one can also exercise 
the superior power of salvation over the 

Here is a contra versy regarding his date. 
Possibly it may be 200 A.I), or perhaps a 
decade or two in the third century also. The 
inscription of Jaggayapeta in the 5th cen- 
tury characters speaks of a disciple of his 
disciple. Inscriptions of Niigarjunakonda 
have the names of some eminent lihikslius 
like Bhadanta Ananda, Dharma Nandi, 
Chandramukha and Naga. He seems to have 
had two well known disciples besides 
Aryadcva, named as Xanda and Naga. He 
was certainly a contemporary of the Ku- 
shan Kmpcror Kanishka and aSatavahana 

2. Aryadeva 

He was also known as Deva, Kanadeva 
and Nilanctra. He was the loth patriarch 
and he was assassinated by a religious 
fanatic. As a sound scholar, and as a 
widely travelled, great writer, lie scored 
magmficicnt triumphs over the Tairthikas 
in Chuliye, in Kosala, in Patallputra and 
elsewhere and occupied a high place at 
Nala-nda. He refuted sankhya and vaise- 
shika in his Sat&istra. In his Cittavisud- 
dhi-prakarana, he ridicules Brahmin super- 
stition with regard to the (langa. He is 

said to have been fond of preaching the 
Andhakavinda Suttanta. 

3. Bhavaviveka 

Itsing places him earlier than Dingnaga 
and Dharmapala. Hieun-tsang makes 
him a contemporary of Dharmapala. Ho 
lived South West of Dhanyakataka in a 
cave and was the author of a number of 
learned works, Mahayana-pearl-in-hand 
sashtra, pragna-lamp sashtra, Sankhya 
Tarka Jvala. He was a skilful dialectician 
externally displaying the Sankhya garb 
and internally propagating the learning of 

4. Dingnaga 

He seems to have lived for sonic time 
near Vengi. He was the contemporary of 
Kaliclasa and disciple of Vasubandhu. He 
distinguished himself as a yogacarya and 
travelled through Maharashtra and Orissa 
converting the Tairthikas. He converted an 
Orissa Minister and founded 10 MaluWihii- 
ras. He was tlic founder of pure logic which 
he differentiated from religion and philoso- 
phy. The Pramana Samueeaya was compos- 
ed on a solitary hill with a stone sthupa 
near Vengi. This was the earliest work on 
modern pure Nyaya which developed Pra- 
mana or evidence of knowledge. According 
to Deal, he converted Isvara Krishna 
author of the Sankhya Karika in Andhra. 
Itsing says he composed hundred treatises. 
Some of his works were rendered into 
Chinese by Paramartha in 600 A.D. 


The sculptural representations of a wirite.y of buildings occur iny in the, 
famous sculptures from Jagyayyapeta, Amaravathi, Nagariunakonda and Ooli 
have features which are in anticipation of similar ones met in the later. day 

examples of architecture from tiouth India Gradually the Punya Sala type 

came to be, r&M-rvwl for the. gateways of temples and in //// course, of time the 
ejopuras over the. gateway* assumed such stupendous proportions as to domi- 
nate the entire temple corn pie Jt- of South India. 



Of South Indian Architecture 


Curator for Art and ArcJiacolnyy, Madras. 

Among the vast remains of the Indus 
Valley Civilization, those of buildings 
form a major portion. This fact shows 
the flourishing nature of tlve art of building 
even i during the 3rd Millennium B.C. 
Unlike examples of buildings of later 
historical periods, which are mostly reli- 
gious in character, the houses of the Indus 
Valley Sites were perhaps utilitarian in 
character. But their design, construction 
and perfect alignment speak volumes for 
the high state of development of the Art 
of Building which had no parallel in other 
civilised countries of the time. 

Literary Evidence 

Whether there were buildings built of 
durable materials during the subsequent 
periods upto 300 B.C. cannot be definitely 
stated because no examples of buildings of 
these periods seem to have survived in 
any part of India, although there are 

references to a variety of structures in 
the famous Literatures of the time, the 
texts called the Sulba Sutras bearing 
on the religious architecture of the period 
being the most important of them. From 
descriptions of buildings contained in such 
texts, it could easily be seen that the 
beginnings of almost all the later types of 
buildings, especially of Sacred Shrines 
were there. Due perhaps to the fact that 
buildings of this period were of perishable 
materials, they have not survived. But 
echoes of at least some of the most 
important features of these early build- 
ings \\ ere seen in the buildings to be built, 
in increasing numbers, since the time 
of Asoka. 

From about the 3rd Century B.C. to 
about the 4th Century A.D. numerous 
structures were constructed all over India 
and in Ceylon too. Since Buddhism was 
the most dominant religion during this 


period, a great majority of the structures 
are of that religion. Large concentrations 
of Buddhist buildings were met with in 
such places as Sanchi, Barhut, Sarnath, 
Taxila, in the Western Ghats, Amara- 
vatI and Nagarjunakonda in India and 
at Anuradhapura in Ceylon. These com- 
prised of Stupas, Viharas and Caitya 
Halls, both Rock-cut and Structural. 
Only on these remains we have to 
depend for the History of the Archi- 
tecture of the period. A study of these 
monuments reveals however an impor- 
tant fact that though the underlying 
principles of the various constructions 
were the same at all these places, there 
was a distinct difference both in form and 
treatment of each of these monuments at 
the different places, brought about by the 
local genius. Hence, the existence of a 
variety of Stupas, Monasteries etc. There 
was considerable variation in the form of 
the Stupas of different countries, but the 
sculptures that adorned these stupas 
represent small shrines, huts and palaces, 

14. Caitya tilab from Amardvati 

in a variety of shapes and forms, that 
actually existed in the various localities* 
These sculptural representations are there- 
fore very valuable for the study of the 
Architecture of the Region to which 
they belong. 

Early Andhra Architecture 

As mentioned above, Andhrapatha has 
a large concentration of Buddhist Monu- 
ments some of which go back to a time 
not far removed from ASoka. They are 
found at AmaravatI, Jaggayapeta, Goli, 
Nagarjunakonda, Bhattiprolu, Guntu- 
palli, 3ankaram and Ghantasala to men- 
tion only a few places. Besides the 
architecture of the Stupas that stood 
in those places, the sculptural repre- 
sentations of a variety of buildings 
occuring in the famous sculptures from 
Jaggayapeta, AmaravatI, Nagarjuna- 
konda and Goli have features which 
are in anticipation of similar ones met 
with in the later-day examples of archi- 
tecture from South India. Hence a 
B closer study of these may be of interest 
to a student of Architecture. A brief 
outline of the important features of 
architecture of the period from about 200 
B.C. to about 400 A.D. as could be gathe- 
red from these Buddhist works of Art of 
Andhrapatha is attempted in the follow- 
ing paragraphs. 

The Stupas 

It is well known that Buddhist Stupas 
are classified, according to their contents, 
into three groups, viz,, 1. S'arlraka, 
2. Paribhogika and UddeSika. S'arlraka 
stupas are those which enshrined a Relic 
of the Buddha ; The Paribhogika are 
those built over the articles used by 
the Buddha ; and the TTfld^s'ika stfmas a, 


those erected at places hallowed by the 
presence of the Buddha. 

Of the numerous stupas of Andhra- 
patha, those at AmaravatI and Bhatti- 
prolu, seem to have been the examples 
of the S'arlraka variety, because, in- 
scriptions from these make mention of 
Buddha's relics having been enshrined in 
them. The rest of the stupas belong to 
the Uddesika group, and there seem to 
have existed no stupas of the Paribho- 
gika variety here. In so far as the unit 
of an Indian stupa is concerned, it has 
three parts, viz., the Drum, the Cupola or 
the Superstructure enclosing an Umbrella 
or a series of umbrellas and the Railing 
around the Stupa built at a distance 
from it leaving sufficient space (Pradaksina) 
for the devotees to perambulate the 
st ipa. 

Special Features of Andhra Stupa. 

Now regarding the speciality of these 
stupas of Andhrapatha. Though the unit 
and the underlying religious significance 
of a stupa remain the same, in construc- 
tion the stupas of Andhrapatha, espe- 
cially those of Nagarjunakonda, show 
features which are quite distinctive and 
have no parallel in the stupas of other 
parts of India or Ceylon or other coun- 
tries. First of these special features are 
the Hub-and-Spoke plan of the foundation 
and the Umbrella-like form after comple- 
tion. Secondly the Drum of the stupas 
has a projection at each of the four 
cardinal points facing the gateway, on 
which are erected fine pillars called 
the Ayakakhambas. The platforms are 
also called Ayaka platforms after the 
pillars. These pillars are a unique fea- 
ture of the stupas from Andhrapatha. 
These are square at the base octagonal 

2. Vrksa Caitya 

above and rounded at the top and finally 
topped by such Buddhistic symbols as 
the Piirnaghata, Chakra, Triratna and 
Stlpa. It must be noted that this 
special prediliction of the Sthapatis of 
South India for the pillars is found to 
manifest itself with the same vigour in 
the Sthapatis of later periods of South 
Indian History with the result that South 
Indian architecture of the later periods is 
characterised by numerous pillars espe- 
cially as exemplified by the Pillared Halls 
or Mandapams. Another interesting thing 
to be noted in this connection is that the 
people who were enamoured of the 1000 or 
100 pillared Mandapa and introduced 
it all over Fouth India were again the 
rulers of the famous Vijayanagar 

ThirdH the gateway of the stupa here 
did not probably have such elaborate 
Tor ana work as is found at Sanchi 
though the Palaces represented in the 
sculptures are shown with gateways very 
similar to those of Sanchi but without 


any decoration. In place of the Torana- 
Gateway, simple pillars with docile seated 
lions on them were erected, one on each 
side of every gateway. 

The Viharas 

Fourthly almost all the parts of the 
stupa were carved with exquisite scul- 
ptures in bas-relief illustrating scenes 
from the life of the Buddha as well as 
from the Jataka-stories. This feature is 
met with in the stupa of Bharhut and 
in some of the stupas of Gandhara but 
not in stupas of other areas. Besides 
the structural stupas mentioned above 
which admitted elaborate decorative detail 
and huge dimensions, there are in such 
places as Bojjanakonda and Guntupalli 
examples of Rock-cut caves where Rock- 
cut stupas of a very simple type occur. 
These preserve some of the features 
that characterised the most ancient stu- 
pas, and are dated to about the begin- 

3. Palace with Octagonal towers 

ning of the Christian Era. A very good 
idea of how a structural stupa of those 
times might have looked like can be had 
from the beautiful bas-relief from Amarii- 
vati showing a stupa with all its parts. 
(Fig. 1). Details of the construction of 
the stupas are available to some extent. 
But about the details of the building 
of the Viharas or Monasteries that 
existed in these Buddhist settlements, 
very little information is available. 
Though details relating to the foundations 
of Viharas are known from Nagarjuna- 
konda and other places, nothing is 
known about their superstructures. The 
plan of vihara was as follows. There was 
a quadrangle with cells lining the three 
sides of the interior with an open court 
in the centre. Immediately beyond the 
entrance was, on either side, an apsidal 
structure one of which usually contained 
a stupa intended for the worship of the 
vihara. In some of the large monasteries, 
there was provision for the monks to 
answer calls and for the manufacture of 
sculptures etc. It may be mentioned here 
that such a plan as that of- the viharas 
of Andhrapatha has had a chequersed 
career through the ages in South India. 
For, the same principle probably underlies 
the construction of the Kailasanatha 
temple at Conjeevaram, continued in the 
temple at Tanjore and perhaps survives 
in the plan of the houses of organised 
joint families of some of the South 
Indian communities, notably of the Nat- 
tukottai Chettiars. 

A Unique Structure 

Though no definite idea of the super- 
structures of the viharas here can be 
had, yet the bas-relief (Fig. 2) from 
Amaravati of about the 2nd Century B. 0., 
showing a many storey ed building around 


a Vrksa may be said to preserve some 
features of the superstructure of a vihara. 
Each storey here is marked by Chaitya 
window designs (called Kudu in Tamil) 
without a human being in it, a feature 
usually met with in structures not intended 
for ordinary people. The absence of the 
human beings in the Kudu, therefore, 
definitely suggests that the building was 
not intended for ordinary people ; but as 
the structure is circular and not quadran- 
gular as should be expected if it was 
intended to be a Vihara, it suggests it was 
merely a sacred building around the Bodhi 
tree, only occasionally used by the monks 
or others of the locality, Whatever be 
the utility of this kind of building, owing 
to the absence of such types in the sculp- 
tures or painting of other areas, it may 
be conjectured that they were peculiar to 
Andhrapatha and their form is quite extra- 
ordinary. Even if such buildings were 
not actually in existence then (which is 
not at all likely in view of the fact that 
the artists of old never represented a 
structure about which they did not have 
any knowledge) credit must be given to 
the Sthapati or sculptor who could con- 
ceive of a structure like this. 

The Caityas 

Unlike in the Western Ghats and 
Central Deccan, no elaborate Caitya- 
Halls, like those at Karle, cut in tha 
living rock, appear to have been done in 
Andhrapatha. In the case of Western 
Ghats, there was the need for huge Caitya- 
Halls in view of the fact that they 
enclosed the stupas intended for the wor- 
ship of the monks residing in the monaste- 
ries close by. Hence their huge dimensions 
and beautiful decorations. But no such 
necessity existed in the Buddhist settle- 
ments of Andhrapatha, where each Bud- 

dhist settlement had more structural 
stupas for the monks to offer worship. 
But in some of the places like Naga- 
rjunakonda and 8'ankaram there exist 
foundations of small Caitya Halls of 
the usual apsidal shape, built of brick 
and mortar. The caitya hall at Naga- 
rjunakonda is on the famous elevated 
place, where the monastery intended for 
the monks from Ceylon was. I have else- 
where dealt with the continuation of this 
apsidal type in shrines of a much later 
period. Numerous Saivaite and Vaishna- 
vite temples in this type dating from loth 
and llth centuries exist all over South 
India including South Kanara. 

Palaces and other 
Secular Buildings 

It is well known that there exist 
in India hardly any remains of ancient 

4. Sculpture skowitig Milhiviiidaka Jataka 


secular buildings. All that we know of 
such big structures as well as of Huts 
and Hermitages is limited to their des- 
criptions found in the literatures and their 
representations in Sculpture and Painting 
of the Period. In Andhrapatha, too, this 
has been the case. We have to depend 
upon the sculptures of Amaravati, goli 
and Nagarjunakonda to get an idea 
of the secular architecture of the 

The sculptures from the above places 
have representations of places, probably 
based on the contemporary models, which 
have elaborate mansions with terraces, 
storeys culminating in wagon-shaped 
roofs, balconies, open pavilions with 
pillars supporting them, pleasnre gardens 
with beautiful lotus ponds and such other 
structures as would add to the grandeur of 
the whole complex pattern of the Palace, 
They also had elaborate gateways with 
S'alas and kostas on either side. Usually, 

5, PunyaSala-Jaggayyapeta. 

the palaces were surrounded also by 
a fortress of brick and mortar. In 
some cases the palaces are shown with 
torana gateways. Generally, it appears, 
there were a number of toranas not of the 
bent-beam variety as at Sanchi but of 
the pillar-and-wagon-roof type, on the 
road near the palace gateway. The 
monumental size of the pillars and the 
characteristic wagon-shape of the beam- 
like part appear to be but the distant 
ancestor of the elaborate gateways of the 
South Indian temples of later times. 
Another interesting feature of a palace as 
seen from one of the early representations 
of it (Fig. 3) from Amaravati is that 
it had towers probably at its four* corners 
and they were of octogonal shape topped 
by something like a stupi. Stupis are 
also seen on the wagon-roofs of palaces. 
(Fig. 4). 

Huts and Hermitages 

Coming to the huts and hermitages, a 
vivid picture can be had from a number of 
realistic representations of them occurring 
in sculptures from Amaravati, Goli and 
Nagarjunakonda. A remarkable repre- 
sentation of a village occurs in the 
bas-relief from Amaravati which repre- 
sents the Mittavindaka Jataka (Fig. 4). 
Here are found two types of huts, 
probably built of mud and thatched, one 
circular with a hemispherical roof, and the 
other rectangular, the roof here being 
wagon-shaped. Wherever a village had to 
be represented, the sculptors of Andhra. 
patha of these times showed clusters of 
huts in these two types only. This clearly 
shows that these were the basic types for 
the houses of the peasant-folk throughout 
the region. It may be mentioned here 
that these are also the two of the three 
main types that are found adopted for 

building temples in South India. The 
circular type of temple is however pre- 
served only in Kerala though the shape 
of the roof there has become conical. 
Again the rectangular-wagon roofed type 
has been universally adopted for the 
gateway of the later-day South Indian 
temple. A very interesting thing to be 
noted here and which is common know- 
ledge to the people of present day Andhra- 
patha is that the type of huts or houses 
met with today in the villagess of this 
region are the same old type of the circle 
and rectangle, the shapes of the super- 
structures only showing a difference. 
In the above mentioned basrelief from 
AmaravatI, the village has around it 
a low brick-wall, probably a prevailing 
custom of those days intended as a 
protection from possible enemies or 
thieves or wild animals. The representa- 
tion of the hero, a chandala and his 
family outside the walls of the village 
should remind the students of the texts 
on Indian architecture such as the 
Manasara, Kasyapiya and the Agamas 
about the town-planning mentioned there- 
in allotting quarters outside village pre- 
cincts to communities like the Mala- 
kara and the Chandala. This fact- 
may be of interest to those interested 
in knowing which came first, whether the 
practice or the textbook on it. Here, 
however, the sculpture is more or less 
definitely dated to belong to the 2nd 
century A. D., whereas the dates of the 
text books mentioned above are unsettled 
although their contents might be con- 
siderably older then the sculptural repre- 


The hermitages of saints and seers in 
forest areas were also in the same simple 
circular or rectangular type though they 

were made riot even of mud and thatch 
but of reeds and fallen leaves of trees 
(Parnasala). A beautiful representation 
of such a hermitage occurs in one of the 
scenes of the Vessantara Jataka from 
Goli. It remains now ample to examine 
the construction of shrines of diffe- 
rent forms and their influence on the 
later-day temple architecture of South 
India. There are three or four types of 


6. Shrine with domical superstructure. 


shrines met with in the bas-relief repre- 
sentations from;places like Jaggayyapeta, 
AmaravatI and Nagarjunakonda. Since 
most of the Nagarjunakonda represen- 
tations have already been anticipated at 
Amaravati, the types of shrines seen in 
the sculptures of the former two places 
may be said to be enough for our 

Jaggayyapeta Sculptures 

Between the sculptures from Jagga- 
yyapeta arid those of the first period 
from AmaravatI there is not much of 
a difference in date though stylistically 
the former is said to belong to a slightly 
earlier date. Hence the fragments of 
sculpture from Jaggayyapeta are the ear- 
liest specimens of the art of South 
India. There are three or four slabs 
with carving in very low relief which 
are preserved somewhat tolerably. Of 
these, the slab showing a shrine and the 
other showing a woman standing on a 
makaralike animal and leaning against 
a pillar are of importance for our pre- 
sent study. Except for the faint sugges- 
tion that this woman against the pillar 
may have something to do with the later- 
day Salabanjika figure which became 
an invariable clement of the Gopuras 
built during and after the Vijayanagar 
period, this figure is not of much inte- 

Punyas'ala Its Significance 

But the slab showing the shrine (Fig. 5) 
is of great value for the study of the 
early history of temple architecture in 
this part of India. Here in this shrine 
are found some of the basic elements of 
temple architecture. They are the Adhi- 
sthana, the Pillars and the Roof, which 
is the most interesting of all. The roof is 


double-storeyed with a huge caitya win- 
dow design covering the upper storey and 
two such designs on the first storey. The 
shrine being rectangular in plan, the shape 
of its roof is also rectangular in horizontal 
section but with its top rounded, as of a 
wagon (i.e. wagon-shaped). Buildings with 
such elongated wagon-shaped roofs are 
termed Salas (halls) and this is the earliest 
representation of this type in South India. 
There are representations of similar types 
of shrines in the sculptures of Barhut 
(2nd century B.C.) and Sanchi (1st Cen- 
tury B.C.) but none of them can compare 
favourably with the Jaggayyapeta shrine 
which is rightly described as a Punya- 
ala. Here it is raised over the Buddhist 
symbol of the two feet of the Buddha. 
But in later times, such rectangular 
shrines are usually associated with Vishnu, 
the wielder of the Prayogacakra. 
The remarkable persistence of the Sala 
type in South Indian architecture is 
exemplified by many a temple dating from 
the 7th century to modern times. One 
of the earliest stone examples of this 
type is the Bhima Batha of Mahabali- 
puram. Even from an earlier time 
than that of the Pallavas, the Sala type 
might have been employed for separate 
shrines as well as to serve as one of the 
two or three decorative elements of the 
Vimanas of Larger temples as seen in 
the Dharmaraja Batha of Mahabali- 
puram. Gradually the 3ala type came 
to be reserved for the gateways of tem- 
ples and in course of time the gopuras 
over the gateways assumed such stupend- 
ous proportions as to dominate the entire 
temple complex of South India as well as 
to stand as a unique symbol of South 
Indian culture in general. It must be 
mentioned here that again the later-day 
propagators and elaborators of this anci- 

ent element of South Indian temple archi- 
tecture were the rulers of the Vijayanagar 
dynasties and their Viceroys as proclaimed 
by the sky-scrapping gopuras at Tiru- 
vannamalai, Chidambaram (North 
Gopura) and Madhura. It is indeed ama- 
zing to watch the magnificent develop- 
ment of this type of shrine, the earliest 
example of which is the Punyas'filfi from 

The ala type noted above was also 
employed in a number of interesting bas- 
reliefs from Amaravati and Nagarjuna- 
konda. The Vrksa Caitya referred to 
above was one. But in these, the type 
is associated not with rectangular build- 
ings but Avith circular ones. Some struc- 
tures enclosing Bodhi tree show how the 
type was employed in the building of 
square and octogonal plans, which prove 
unmistakably the fact that there existed 
shrines of all these forms in different parts 
of South India, which are also alluded to 
in the literatures, notably the Tamil 
Sangam literature, of this region. 

The call of one other shrine is worth 
noting and its development in later times 
examined before concluding this brief 
study. It is the domed pavilion (Fig. 6) 
enshrining a Stupa occurring as a decora- 
tive figure on one of the four faces of the 
base of a pillar from Amaravati. The 
simplicity of the workmanship coupled 
with the beautiful design of the small 
sacred shrine make it a gem of a religious 
building in miniature scale and an ideal 
type which is found perpetuated in the 
forms of domical Sikharas of number- 
less temples of South India and in certain 
other religious structures of later times. 
Here the hemispherical dome topped by 
a stupi is supported by light circular 
pillars. They are in turn placed on the 
adhisthana with characteristic mouldings 

and designs on it, a feature which 
persists in more elaborate form in the 
later-day architecture of South India. 
The fact that this small but beautiful 
shrine is juxtaposed with similarly fine 
representations of chakra, tree etc. is proof 
enough that a shrine of this kind was 
considered to be holier than shrines of 
other types. There is no wonder therefore 
that this domical type was adopted as the 
type for s'ikhara* of a number of temples 
in later times. Besides the s'ikharas this 
type is found continued in the Gora- 
thas made of silver or gold, found in 
use in some of the flourishing and pros- 
perous temples of South India. Above all 
it is of utmost interest to note that it is 
this type of pillared and dome-roofed 
vimana, a movable one not a permanent 
immovable shrine, that is used for the 
images worshipped daily by His Holi- 
ness Sri Kanchi Kainakoti Pithadhipati. 
This fact proves beyond doubt that 
this type of Vimana is a very holy 
type especially for puja by the Siddhas 
and Mahapurusas and hence adopted 
by the Buddhists also from an earlier 
model made on Vedic authority. It is 
also to be noted that the Avrtsas or 
residences of sages and saints, as has been 
detailed above, of these times were almost 
of this type. The difference between their 
hermitages and this unique type lies 
in this that the Utajas and Parna- 
salas were closed .-with reeds or leaves 
on all sides while this circular domical 
vimaua, true to the word, is open, being 
supported on pillars leaving the space 
between them uncovered. It is also note- 
worthy in this connection, that the most 
sacred shrine to Lord ViSvanatha at 
Varanasi should have been originally open, 
as it is even today open on all sides. 
This should also have been the case at 


Chidambaram where especially the-'ethereal 
aspect of the Lord is stressed ; hut due 
to interpolations the pillared - hall was 
covered on all sides leaving now only 
a small window to see through, the 3kaa 
form of the Lord. Though covered, the 
pillars supporting the roof are even now 

Now it will be clear that the various 
types of buildings of which the earliest 
vestiges are met with in Andhrapatha 
amongst the works of art of Buddhism, 
actually perpetuate those which had been 
in vogue here from time immemorial. The 

various later-day developments of these 
types in South India prove that owing to 
their holy character they were freely 
employed by the followers of other reli- 
gions. It is also seen that some of the 
types of houses used by ancient peasant- 
folk of Andhrapatha still continue there 
among the same class of people. This 
would suggest only one thing, that the 
common people are prone to repeat a 
tradition, not only because it has the 
sanctity of long usage, but also because of 
its extreme usefulness in all seasons, and 
at all times. 



Coomaraswamy. Dr. A. K. 
Burgess, Mr. James, 
Sivaramamurti. Mr. 0. 

Barrett, Mr, D. E. 
Rea, Mr. A. 

Ramachandran, Mr. T. N. 
Longhurst, Mr. A. H, 

Brown, Mr. P, 
Aiyappan, Dr. A. 
Srinivasan Mr. P. R. 


History of India and Indonesian Art. 
Early Indian Architecture 
Buddhist Stupa of Amaravati and 

Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras 

Amaravati Sculptures in the British 


Early Buddhist Antiquities. 
Buddhist Sculptures from Goli village in 

the Madras Museum. 
Nagarjunakonda, 1938. 
N agar junakonda . 
Indian Architecture (Buddhist and 

Hindu), Vol. 1 
Guide to Buddhist Antiquities in the 

Madras Museum. 


Bo tlh is a ttvci 

As Conceived 

Bv World Artists 

Lord Buddha (Fresco painting, Japan. 10th century) 

f 1 - >, f: ' ' 
1* V ' V W^1' 

The Buddha's Tonsure (Terracotta, partly gilt, Burma, llth century) 

The Bodhisattva 

( Fondikistan Sculpture, 

at present in Paris ) 

r / W ' ' ,L T ^ 

^j f ^ S| 

/ ^ *' 2 tf* * 

/ M 

II JBift,C*^. . 

The Buddha in wood, lacquered and gilt, (Japan, 7th century) 


The Buddha in Stone and Brick (Burma, 11 th century) 

The Uuildha ( Sculptured stono. China, 5th century ) 

as an /\scetic ( Lacquered wood. China, 15th century ) 




(Reader, University of Baroda ) 

The History of Civilization begins from 
the dim past, when man first appea- 
red on this Globe nearly half a million 
years ago. The essence of the story I of 
Man may be stated to be the progressive 
emancipation from the status of a slave 
in the Cage of Nature to the Modern 
Scientist who has enslaved and harnessed 
Nature for the uplift of man by a progres- 
sive analytical understanding of its pro- 
cesses. Thus every new addition to his 
material equipment be it a new tool, a 
new raw material or any other new 
invention that gave him the leisure to 
think beyond his daily routine accele- 
rated the progress of man. One such 
great advance, which had a profound 
effect on civilization, was the invention of 
writing. This brought to an end an era 
of Human History, called ' Pre-history ' to 
differentiate it from * History J which is 
characterized by the availability of written 
documents for its reconstruction. 

The story of man in Andhra goes to a 
hoary past when the primitive hunter led 
a life of ' food gathering ' in the chief river 
valleys of the region. Then he was a 
strange, but a biologically advanced 
animal. " Our forefathers did not have 
either augur beaks, or shovel paws, or 
incisors sharp as knives." But this handi- 
cap of the primitive Man was a blessing. 
His erect posture and strong pair of upper 
limbs with a detachable or apposable 
thumb that can pair off with all or any 
other fingers, helped him to devise his 

own tools, aptly called " the extra corpo- 
real limbs." 

Thus the Story of Man begins with the 
fabrication of these tools of stone found 
abundantly in all the river valleys of 
Andhra, 1 where the hunter and his prey 
were tempted by the life-giving waters. 

If wo look at a population map of India 
or better still, of Andhra, we see a con- 
centration of large scale agricultural 
communities in the deltaic lands of 
the Krisna' and the Godavary. 3 From 
time immemorial, these two basins at- 
tracted people. Unfortunately very little 
systematic work is done regarding the 
Prehistory of Andhra and hence our 
knowledge is a little hazy. The pioneer of 
these studies was Robert Bruce Foote, a 
geologist with a love for Archaeology and 
his vast collections from all over South 
India adorn the Museum at Madras. 
Subsequently two great civilians 
F. J. Richards and L. A. Cammiade did 
very extensive explorations on the east 
coast of Andhra and the Krishna valley 
upstream in Kurnool district. Recen- 
tly some work was done by the writer 
in Bellary District on behalf of the 
Deccan College Research Institute, Poona. 

Four lakh years ago 

What is the age of this earliest man in 
Andhra ? It is difficult to specify in terms 
of our short solar year of 365| days. It 
is very aptly compared to a centimetre 
used for measuring Mount Everest. But 


Early Historic 


Early Historic 






Late stone age 

Middle stone age 

Early stone age 

Russet Coated 

Criss-cross ware, 

Satavahana and 

Roman Coins 

Rouletted ware 

ware in associa- 
tion with Iron 
and Megalithic 
Burial Complex 

Slow Infiltration 

of Painted 

Pottery and 

Copper and 

Bronze into 


Age of Polished 
Stone Axes 

and Early Agri- 
cultural and 


Geometric and 
Non - Geometric 
Series IV 

Blade, Scraper 
and Burin Indus- 
tries. Cammiade 
Series III 

Hand Axes and 
Cleavers of 
Acheul Techni- 
que. Cammiade 
Series I & II 


in these long ages the climatic conditions 
too were changing. The prehistorians 
look for evidences of these changes which 
took long periods. If you travel on 
the east coast from Madras to Calcutta 
you come across rocky, barren red outcrops 
on either side of the railway line. These 
are called * Laterites ' (or Bonta rayi in 
Telugu). The geologists tell us that for 
formation of this rock, very long periods 
of heavy rain alternating with dry climates 
(a similar state of affairs is seen even 
today in Konkan and Kerala coasts) is 
required. Leaving aside the other techni- 
cal details, we definitely know that such 
conditions do not exist today. But such 
conditions did exist in the past. This 
factor is very important for the pre- 
historic studies in Andhra because, its 
early Man was witness to these changes in 
climate and his tools are embedded in 
this kind of rock. 

On the basis of the provisional studies 
that have been carried out in various 
parts of India, we can place the begin- 
nings of Human Life in the Krishna Basin 
at about four lakhs of years ago. 

For convenience, the archaeologists 
divide this long span of human history 
into periods based on the main raw 
material used for primary tools. The 
earliest period is called the " Stone Age ". 
This has been divided into three : Early, 
Middle and Late on the strength of the 
technological progress in the manufacture 
of these stone implements. Then a great 
revolution took place with the discovery 
of agriculture. This gave a tremendous 
mastery over Nature, because he could 
pick and choose the ground to stay and 
cultivate his crops, and thus he put an 
end to the nomadic pursuit of his prey. 
During this stage he was still ignorant 
of metals and hence this is called the 

" Neolithic " or the New Stone Age. 
The first metal that radically altered 
the economic life of man was copper 
and its alloy, bronze. But in the transi- 
tional phases he could not entirely give 
up stone and hence this era is called 
the " Chalcolithic " or the age of cop- 
per and stone. But with the introduc- 
tion of iron, the cheap and sturdy raw 
material, stone ceased to dominate the 
economic life. This may be called the 
' Iron Age ', 

Coming to Andhra, we have all these 
phases preceding the Early Historic period 
starting about 200 B. C. with the advent 
of the Satavahana rule the first great 
land-mark in the history of the Krisna 
valley and Andhra. (See chart) 

The first Implements 

The tools of man belonging to the 
Early Stone Age consisted of crude hand 
axes and choppers and scrapers of 
quartzite found abundantly in the beds 
of the rivers. These tools are also found 
in the laterite washed after its primary 
formation on the tops of the hills and 
highlands along the oast coast and the 
interior of Kurnool District. With these 
tools, supplemented by those of wood, 
he must have hunted the animals and 
protected himself. Like some of the 
primitive tribes (eg. the Chenchus 5 ) they 
must have been eating the fruits and 
roots of plants by digging with their stone 
axes or sharply pointed and burnt sticks. 
Their main centres of habitation must 
have been the river banks, but occa- 
sionally they lived in caves also. The 
famous caves of Billasurgam in Kurnool 
still await an archaeologist to uncover 
their precious story. 

Later stone age settlements 

In the next era called the * Middle Stone 
Age' we get very fine and small tools 


The presentation of the infant 

Bodhisattva ; partly gilt, 
llth Century A. D, Pagan, Burma 

made of semi-precious stones. He was 
making blades, scrapers and pointed tools 
called ' burin '. But the fundamental 
economic life of this savage could not 
have changed much. This tendency to- 
wards finer and smaller tools can be seen 
also in the next period called the ' Late 
Stone Age'. He was making very small 
tools varying in size between half-an-inch 
to about two inches. These tools called 
' Microliths ' or pygmy tools must have 
been hafted into wood or bone as in 
Western Asia and Africa. These people 
gathered their food by hunting, fishing 
etc., There are large numbers of these 
settlements in all parts nf the Krishna 
and God a vary basins. 

The Neolithic Andhra 

The next stage saw the first settlements 
of primitive agricultural communities 
technologically in a stone age and hence 
described as the "Neolithic" people. 
They were living on the tops of hills or 
near their foot overlooking their fields. 
Though these are found in the Krishna 
valley and the delta area, we know more 
about them from the tributary valley 
of the Tungabhadra. These people had 
a remarkable sense of selection since they 
invariably settled on the tops of granite 
hills with rock shelters in the proximity 
of a stone called " Basalt " or other fine- 
grained stones useful for their tools. The 
most interesting tool in their kit is what 
is called the " Shoe-Last Celt" or a plano- 
convex axe tied to the end of a piece 
of wood to be used as a hoe or small hand 
plough. This type of cultivation is still 
practised by a number of primitive tribes 
in various parts of India today. Their 
other tools were axes, picks, chisels, 
sling - stones and polishers all of stone. 
From the type of crude drawings found 
near settlements, we are justified in in- 

ferring that they domesticated the humped 
cattle. We do not know the age of the 
beginnings of the settlement of these 
people, but they were displaced or they 
came into contact with metal-using com- 
munities about 1000 B. C. 

The age of metals 1000 B. C. 

These new people who entered Central 
Deccan about this period knew the use of 
copper and bronze and they also brought 
witli them painted pottery as well as 
very line stone blades to supplement the 
earlier types of stone-tools and those of 
the new but rare metal viz., copper. 
Hence they have been described as the 
Chalcolithic people. Though the tools and 
an occasional potsherd have been reported 
from the Footers collection, we do not 
know clearly whether this culture of 
Bellary penetrated eastwards into the 
Krishna delta. But since these cultures 
have been found extensively in the basins 
of the Krishna and Godavary, we are 
justified in inferring their extension into 
this focal area of Andhra. 

The last of these "Pro or Proto-historic 
people introduced iron in large quantities* 
They made extensive varieties of iron 
implements and fine pots generally black 
inside and red or brown outside. These 
are characterized by a special technique 
of firing in an inverted form (i.e. placed 
bottom upwards in the kiln). They were 
using fine beads of semi-precious stones 
like Cornelian and Lapis Lazuli and 
and even Gold. But the most interest- 
ing feature of these people is their burial 
system. They built very elaborate stone 
chambers sometimes inside the ground 
and sometimes over. Besides they were 
making elaborate earthen Sarcophagi! 
or funeral boxes. One found in the 
Cuddapah district has a Sarcophagus in 
the shape of a Ram. This is to be found 


','*V1 ' 1 r- jWVf 


Red Stone Sculpture from Mathura, 
U. P. Gupta Period, 5th Century A. D. 

today in the Madras Museum. The body 
was exposed to nature and selected bones 
were enshrined in these funerary contrap- 
tions called * Megaliths ' by the archaeo- 
logists. Very significantly, these giant 
stone graves are called ' Rakshasa 
Gullu' in Telugu. But as it happens 
all over the world, mystery surrounds and 
covers up ignorance. So by the unknow- 
ing folk of today, they are attributed to 
the Pandavas 'Pandava Kallu or 
Illu '. In the Kanarese districts they 
are called ' Moriyar Mane ' or houses 
of Moriyas supposed to be pygmies. 
It is not possible here to go into the 
details of these varieties of graves and 
grave goods. But the age of these 
monuments in Andhra can be approxi- 
mately fixed about at five centuries pre- 
ceding the Christian era. As already said, 
they were technically very much advanced. 
It is these 'Megalithic folk* as the 
archaeologists describe thern-that flouri- 
shed as large-scale agricultural communi- 
ties in the valleys of the Krishna and 
the Godavary. They were the civilized 
progenitors of the present day Andhra 
people. With the great cultural changes 
that were taking place higher up in the 
Gangetic basin in the fields of literature- 
art, architecture and religion, Andhra 
could not remain isolated. With the 
advent of Buddhism, it slowly penetrated 
into Andhra sometime in the 3rd Century 
B. C. or a little later. But with the 
establishment of the Imperial hegemony 
by the Satavahanas, Buddhism established 
one of its greatest strongholds in South 
India in the basin of the Krishna. 


Asia -wide Influence 
Of Andhra Art 


The significance of Andhra art, pre- 
eminently, is that it constitutes, for 
the first time in Indian history, an auth- 
entic style of creative expression, almost 
uninfluenced by imported precedents ; 
but not the less important is its bearing 
on the evolution of subsequent art styles 
in South India and in the countries of 
East Asia. 

The art of the Mauryan empire, barring 
indigenous sculptures from Patna, Park- 
ham and Besnagar, is palpably Persepoli- 
tan in its major inspiration, although the 
art of Persepolis and Susa might have been 
descended from a common Near Eastern 
art of which India was doubtless the 
inheritor. But the point remains that the 
art of Asoka did not fashion a distinctive 
expression of its own, and the succeeding 
age of the Sungas, carrying the glyptic art 
forward, labours under the incubus of the 
Mauryan inheritance and achieves only an 
inchoate self-expression. Thus the art of 
Bharhut, for all its assimilation of auto- 
chthonous cults, is still rigidly archaic ; 
but the whiff of freedom, which attains in 
the coterminous early Andhra art of Sanchi 
the dimensions of a blast, is seen to make 
its way already through creeks and inlets. 

It is in the Satavahana art of Sanchi, 
impressed on the historic gateways of the 
stupa, that the sculpture of India attains 
full flowering ; so marked is the advance ? 
that the encyclopaedic world of Sanchi 
seems a world in revelation, a pageant of 
epic grandeur. Indian art receives a new 
dimension in an orchestration of the 

fundamental elements of plastic designing; 
the liberated bas-relief surges forward but 
is poised on the threshold of sculpture in 
the round. However, the patterning is 
still conglomerate and the figures of gods 
and godlings are yet to be delivered from 
their mythical contexts. 

The impulsion for this revolution in 
sculpture was, of course, Buddhism, and 
the phases of architectural and sculptural 
advance were clearly determined by the 
evolving nature of the religion itself. In 
the Andhra chaitya halls of Western India, 

Mithuna Nagarjunakonda 


standing tiuddha (Jaitya Slab (Nagarjunakonda) 

in Bedsa, Kondane, Pithalkora, Ajanta, 
Nasik and Karli the architecture attains 
a serene quality and the sculpture is 
severely limited to its high religious pur- 
poses ; Buddhism had come into its own 
and had no longer need of identity with 
the cults and faiths of the soil, wooing 
the spirits and godlings of the indigenous 

Contemporaneously, in the eastern 
reaches of the Satavahana empire the 
Andhras were rearing a monumental art 
which was to change the course of subse- 
quent art expression in India ; the founda- 
tions of the great stupas of Bhattiprolu, 
Amarfivati, Jaggayyapeta yad Ghantasala 
were laid, in a progression of studded 
monuments in the Krishna valley. The 
cult of the stupa, of which the resplendent 
beginnings were at Sanchi, reached a 
further high in the stupas of the Krishna 
valley, probably influenced by the domi- 
nating presence of Acharya Nagarjuna. 
Here Buddhism passed into its next 
epochal phase; the Mahayana became 
more than a schism ; it was a transcen- 
dental faith enlarging the frontiers of 
human deliverance ; it was a religion with 
a crusading mission thirsting to liberate 
the soul of Man in every clime ; in its 
all-pervasiveness it comprehended every 
sentient being. In the Jataka tales which 
provided a cycle of meritoriously progres- 
sive existences the literature of enlighten- 
ment was readily found ; the transfer of 
its content to stone, in an illiterate age, 
was the inevitable next step; the stones 

Simultaneously, the spiritual values of 
Buddhism were determining the archi- 
tecture of its shrines ; the organisation of 
the stupa, from the basic chakra to the 
crowning chhattra, had a cosmic meaning, 
a pivotal relation to the universe. And, 


schematically, the stupa became the parent 
of the Brahmanical temple which came 
afterwards; the one-time sepulchre became 
a shrine in which the image was housed ; 
around it a circumambulatory path, 
marked off by a protective sculptured 
railing; this was pierced at the four 
cardinal points by gate-ways, the progeni- 
tors of the towering gopurams of the 
future temple. When the Pallavas, 
succeeding to the heritage of the Sata- 
vahanas, sought to build their monumental 
temples it was to the descendants of the 
master builders of Buddhist architecture 
that they inevitably turned, and the 
creative impulses of Andhra art went 
forth, in a historic succession, to found 
the monumental styles of South Indian 
architecture and culpture. In the chain 
of artistic inheritance were, first, the 
Pallavas, stationed at Kanchi ; then the 
Cholas further south who achieved greater 
architectural heights ; to the west, the 
Chalukyas, heirs to the Andhra dominions, 
carried the impress of Amaravati in their 
brilliant temple as at Bad a mi, Aihole and 
Pattadakal ; this led to the topping sculp- 
tural achievements of their feudatories 
of the Rashtrakutas, the magnificent 
Kailasa temple at Ellora, and of the 
Hoysalas, the breath-taking shrines, meti- 
culous in their carving, of Belur, Halebid 
and Somnathpur. 

Through the regional diversity of archi- 
tectural styles, the basic pattern is clearly 
owed to Amaravati ; its dynamic vitality 
is manifest in the very inflexions of the 
styles influenced by it. Because, the 
artist builds with reference to a norm and 
every refinement is conditioned by the 
prototype: no major revolution has, as 
a matter of fact, occurred in the history 
of South Indian temple architecture in any 



uonmca ntone 
Lady in Dohada 

direction away from the primal pattern of 

And, the effulgence of Amaravati and 
in its final amplitude, of Nagarjunikonda 
shone across the seas ; its message was 
carried by Andhra traffickers in culture 
who went forth to settle in the countries 
of East Asia ; in time, the voyages were 
reversed and the Acharyas and sthaviras 
from the entire arc of countries, all the 
way from Ceylon to China, took up their 
abode at Nagarjunakonda in pursuit of 
enlightenment. The paths of discovery 
opened out from the mouth of the 
Krishna, chiefly from the present sea-side 
village of Guduru (Ptolemy's Koddoura) 
about the great ancient emporium of 
Ghantasala (Kantakasaila) ; in historic 
course the early colonists traversed, first, 
the deltas of the Salween and Irrawaddy 
rivers in Burma, then Thailand, whence 
they fanned out to settle eventually in 
Indonesia, the ancient kingdoms of 
modern Indo-China Champa andFunan 
and, in a final lap of migration, in China. 

No more evident manifestations of the 
consequences of any creative style are 
forthcoming in history than the palpable 
impresses of Amaravati in the nascent art 
styles of East Asia ; from Dong Duong in 
Champa (present day Annam), from the 
village of P'ong Tuk in the province of 
Ratburi and Srideb (Srideva) in the valley 
of the Pa-Sak river in Thailand, from South 
Djember in Java, Sikendeng in Celebes, 
Palembang in Sumatra, Kota Bangoen in 
Borneo and Anuradhapura has issued 
Buddhist statuary which is unmistakably 
impressed with the sculptural style of 

Yet, the evidence of the consequences of 
Andhra art is still fragmentary because 
the archaeological investigations are very 
much inchoate ; I earnestly hope the 

growing consciousness that the Andhra 
valley enshrined in history a glorious 
culture with momentous significance to tho 
cultures of East Asia will promote more 
intensive research. After Colonel McKen- 
zie's salvage of the Amaravati marbles 
practically little futher had been done ; 
the vicinity is still unexplored for cons- 
onances in the findings of Hiuen Tsang. 
The great stupas of Bhattiprolu, Jag- 
gayyapeta and Ghantasala will bear futher 
searching, because it was surely not for 
nothing that a constellation of Buddhist 
monuments was reared in the Krishna 
valley and their location must have 
historical cause. In the re-writing of 
Andhra history, not merely inscriptions 
(the familiar hunting ground of historians) 
but the monuments of art must be under- 

stood and explained ; the evaluation of 
history is a composite adventure and 
conclusions jumped at from partial testi- 
mony are bound to be tangential. For 
instance, I would seek an answer to the 
perplexing question why the Sfttavahanns. 
if they originated from the region of 
Araaravati, as some historians fondly 
assert, took such elaborate care to embel- 
lish, first, the perimeter of their dominions, 
from Sanchi to Karli, with a progression 
of monuments and why it is that the 
Krishna valley had to wait for attention 
until the span of later Andhra art. Very 
tentatively, reading the sculptures, I 
should hazard the surmise that the Sata- 
vfihanas only fell back on Amaravati, in a 
retreat from the valley of the Godavari, 
in the afternoon of their epochal sway. 

Rejoicing Crowd. Stone about A. D. 750 Borobadur, Java. 

Satavahanas were they 
not Andhras? 


Come scholars believe that the Sata- 
vahanas were not Andhras. Their main 
argument is that the more distinguished 
of the Satavahanas ruled over the Kunta- 
ladesa, i.e., the modern Maharashtra and 
Gujarat with their capital at Paithan 
(Pratishtfma) as all their inscriptions go 
to show, and not Andhradesa. But the 
Puranas mention the Satavahanas as 
Andhras. As these Puranas do not 
support their view, they regard the Pura- 
nas as worthless records of untrustworthy 
legends, and therefore give them no 
historical value. Then we ask, is there 
no evidence to establish that the Sata- 
vahanas were Andhras and that they ruled 
over Andhradesa ? 

Let us see. Of the inscriptions of the 
caves of Nasik, Karle and othes places, 
those relating to Vasishtlputra Sri Pulu- 
mftyi are by far the most important. It 
is from this circumstance alone that 
scholars like Prof P. T. Srinivasa 
lyengar, Dr. Sukthankar, Prof. Subrah- 
manya Iyer and several others have 
advanced the theory that the Satavahanas 
were not Andhras. ' This is the passage 
in the famous inscription of Vasishtlputra 
Sri Pulumfiyi which has lent support to 
their view, rather formed the basis upon 
which their theory has been advanced : 
" Rajarajiio Gutamlputasa Himart.ata 
Meru Mandara Pavata samasurasa, Asika, 
Asaka, Mulaka, Suratha, Kukuraparanta, 
Anupa Vidhaba, Akaravati, rajna. Vijha, 


There is a school of thought amongst re- 
search scholars that says Satavahanas were 
not Andhras. The late Prabhakara Sastry 
Garu in a lucid manner unfolds certain 
facts which drive one to the irresistable 
conclusion that Satavahanas were Andhras. 
In the 2nd & 3rd articles that follow, Sri 
Sastry gives a brilliant exposition of the 
origin of Iksvakus and the probable 
period of Nagarjuna. These three articles 
are reproduced for their research value. 
The first of the three was translated by Sri 
B. H. Krishna Rao and is reproduced from 
the Journal of the Andhra Historical 
Research Society, Vol IV 

Chavata, Parichata, Sahya, Kanhagiii, 
Macha, Siritama, Malaya, Mahinda; Seta- 
giri, ChakGra pavata pathisa". This in- 
scription was edited successively by 
Bhandarkar, Buhler, Bhagavanlal Indraji, 
Senart and others, several times. Many 
of the names of places mentioned in this 
inscription have been identified by them 
to a large extent. But curiously enough 
every one of them had failed to identify 
Mulaka with any known province or 
district of India. I think it was Dr. 
Buhler who suggested that Mulaka might 
be a mistake for Mundaka and accordingly 
corrected the reading. Another scholar 
suggested that Mulaka becomes Mundaka 
and quoted elaborately rules of grammar 
and other authorities in support of his 
view. And every one of these scholars 
that edited the inscription, in their anxiety 
to know the correct form of the words, 

The Great Departure 

lost sight of the correct identity of the 
province or district called Mulaka. 

I think there is something really inte- 
resting in the suggestion that Mulaka 
becomes Mundaka or Munduka. I shall 
come to it at the end. But meanwhile let 
me say that Mulaka country in the above 
inscription, is that part of the Andhra- 
desa which is still known as Mulikinfidu. 
There is evidence to show that the Andhra 
country at one time, prior to its being 
called Vengidesa, was also known as 
Mulaka. The territory comprising the 
present districts of Cuddapah, Kurnool and 
Bellary and a part of the south eastern por- 
tion of the Nizam's Dominions, was at one 
time known as Mulikinadu. The territorial 
name has become somewhat obsolete to- 
day though it still remains in the name 
of a community of Andhra Brahmins, 

suggesting their place of origin. The 
capital of ancient Mulikinadu was Srigiri, 
which is situated in the centre. It is 
a well known fact that ancient kingdoms 
changed their dimensions from time to 
time and their capitals lost their import- 
ance in course of time and have become 
deserted villages. And therefore it is now 
difficult to determine exactly the extent 
of the territory called Mulaka during the 
Satavahana times. Space also forbids me 
here to enter into an elaborate discussion 
of that topic, There is ample evidence to 
show that in the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries of the Christian era, the country 
known as Palnadu in the Ountur district 
was called Mulikinadu. The following 
verse from Kridabhiramamu, a Telugu 
Vlthi of the fifteenth century, bears ample 


testimony to this. The substance of the 
verse is this : 

" Because Chenna ( Kesavaswami ) of 
Macharla ( Palanadu ) and Siva ( Linga ), 
Lord of Srigiri ( Kurnool District } protect 
the Muliki Visha* out of their kindness, 
these extraordinary things are happening : 
otherwise on the mere appearance of the 
cloud on the north how is this miracle, the 
growth and the harvest of mustard seed- 
lings planted in layers of napa stones, 
possible ? " 

Satavahanas came to be overlords of 
1 Siritana ' ( &risthana ) because Mulikinadu 
happened to be under their sway. Sristhana 
is no other then $ri 6aila or Origin. The 
name Siritana occurs in the list of the 
mountains and therefore there is no doubt 
that it is identical with 3ri $aila hill, 
though some scholars still question the 
identification ? One error has led our 
scholars to commit another error and this is 
fully justified in the present circumstance. 
Because they could not identify Mulaka 
with the Mulikinadu of the Andhra country, 
they could not also identify Siritana 
( Sristhana ) with Srigiri or 3ri Saila- 
But one may ask the question : How 
could Satavahanas be the lords of the 
mountains only without being rulers of 
the country in which they were situated ? 
It cannot be said that they were control- 
ling the mountains by having access to 
them through the air ! It is this difficulty 
that baffled many able scholars and 
prevented them from identifying Siritana 
with Sri Saila or Srigiri, and led them 
into confusion. In one of the Nasik Caves 
inscriptions of Va&shtfputra Sri Pulumfiyi, 
we come across a grant made to the Bhikkus 
of ' Dhanakata.' Some scholars doubted 
whether Dhanakata could be Dharani- 
kota on the Krishna river, and identified 
it with some .place in the north, somewhere 


about Malwa. This is the third error 
into which they have fallen. The great and 
beautiful Stupa at Amaravati-Dharani- 
kota is entirely lost sight of as a Buddhist 
centre by them. Even till the days of 
Yuwan Chwang's visit to Mahandhra and 
Dhanakataka, there existed a great Bud- 
dhist monastery at Dhanakataka, which 
was inhabited by Bhikkus of the Mahayana 
school, and yet if those scholars did not 
think of Dhanakataka when they found 
Dhanakata in the inscriptions then it 
must be said that their oversight was due 
to their not having recognised the Sata- 
vahana rule over Andhradesa. 

The Myakadoni and the Harpanahalli 
inscriptions of Sivaskandavarma mention 
'Satavahanahara' and ' Satavahana ratta ' 
as names of a certain province. All 
scholars agree that the names apply to 
that part of the country where the inscrip* 
tions were found. One of the names of 
villages mentioned in the grants is ' Chili- 
arekakodunka '. In the Tclugu country, 
there are many Brahmins belonging to the 
Advaita (Madhwa) school, of the village 
name of ' Chillarige '. We do not know of 
any village of the name of ' Chillarige ' 
in Bellary district, and therefore, I am 
inclined to hold that Chillareka might be 
Chillarige. If therefore, Bellary District 
formed part of Satavahanaratta, it is not 
improper to assume that the Satavahanas 
were Andhras. But, it has been suggested 
against this, that since these inscriptions 
belonged roughly to the third century of 
the Christian era, it cannot be said that 
the Satavahanas were ruling there at that 
time. This objection is, indeed, absurd. 
When Sivaskandavarma ruled the country 
Satavahanaratta, it would be his territory 
for he made grants in that province even 
though it had the name Satavahanaratta, 
and it cannot be assumed for a minute 

A b hay a Mudra 

Dhijdna Mudra 

Bhuml Sparsa Mudra 

Dharma Chakra Mudra 


that the name meant ' the territory 
governed by the Satavahanas.' King 
Sivaskandavarma mentioned the name 
Satavahanaratta because it was an ancient, 
and traditional name for that part of the 
country for a very long time prior to his 
rule. That was not the name given to the 
country at the time of making of the 
grant, or during his reign. There is yet 
another thing. When there were several 
provinces under the sway of the Sata- 
vahanas, why then should this particular 
district alone be called after them, as 
Satavahanaratta orSatavahanahara? Does 
not this fact alone leads us to the irresis- 
table conclusion that Satavahanas origi- 
nally belonged to this district and that in 
course of time they lent their name to 
the district from which they migrated ? 
From the inscriptions of Sivaskanda- 
varma, it may be assumed that these 
Satavahanas, in the early days of the 
expansion of their empire, ruled over 
Mulaka or a part of that province com- 
prising the present district of Bellary and 
that tract of the country came to be 
called Satavahanaratta or Satavahanahara. 
Scholars have again erred here. Originally 
the Sfitavahanas might have been vassals 
of the Ikhakus (Iksvakus) of Vengi country 
and that might be the reason why the Sata- 
vahanas were referred to as " Andhra 
brityas or servants of the Andhras," in 
some puran is. These Andhrabrityas be- 
came powerful and independent in course 
of time, and after the fall of the Ikhakus 
(Andhras) they extended their power and 
influence over the whole of the western 
Deccan including the Karnataka country. 
The Satavahana kings were known as Sata- 
karnis also and they might have lent their 
names as Karni-nadu (the land of the 
Kami kings) to the province over which 
they ruled in the beginning, which became 


distorted into Karnata and Kannad in 
course of time. In a stone pillar inscrip- 
tion in the Siva temple in Sthanakundura 
in Talkonda district in Mysore, the 
archaka calls himself a worshipper of the 
linga which was at one time worshipped 
by the king Satakarni. All these facts go to 
establish that the Satavahanas or Satakar- 
nis who gradually rose to power till they 
held sway over the Karnata country and 
gradually extended the borders of their em- 
pire into Maharashtra aud Gujarat (Ghur- 
jara) and the entire portion of the middle 
and western Deccan known as KuntaLidesa 
and finally selected as their capital a con- 
venient place on the river Godavari and cal- 
led it Paithan (Pratishtana), which meant 
the ' newly established city'. I believe for 
this reason that Pratishtana (Paithan) was 
originally built by the Sivastanas. The 
Jataka stories, the Padma, Kurma, Linga 
and Bhavishyapuramis, the Uttara-Kanda 
of the Rfimfiyana Kathasaritsagara, the 
Mahfibharata, and lastly Kalidasa's Vikra- 
morvasi, all these mention Pral ishtSna 
as the glorious city. The name Pratishtana 
itself is clearly suggestive of the fact that 
it was newly built city, of the Satavahanas 
who were the Andhrabrityas and there- 
fore themselves Andhras. When the Sata- 
vahanas were ruling at Pratishtana, the 
Sakas invaded their empire and wrested 
from them a portion of the northern 
dominions, which necessitated the shifting 
of their capital from Pratishtana on the 
Godavari to Dhanakata or Dharanikota 
on the Krishna, which was till then a pro- 
vincial town or capittl like Vaijayanti on 
the extreme south-west. By that time, the 
Ikhfikus might have sunk into a subordi- 
nate position and become weak. These 
Ikhakus were originally followers of the 
V e d i c Brahminism having performed 
several kratus and yagas, and their erst- 

while subordinates, the Satavahanas, too, 
were likewise followers of the Vedic Brah- 
minical religion. And like the Iksvakus, the 
Satavahanas tolerated and even protected 
other religions like the Buddhism and the 
Jainsim. They made liberal grants to the 
Jain Bastis and Buddhist monastaries, 
protected their stupa and now and then 
even built new stupas. The whole country 
lying between the two mighty rivers of the 
Dekkan, the Krishna and the Godavari, 
stretching from the shores of tho Arabian 
Sea on the west to the coast of the Bay 
of Bengal on the east, came under their 
rule. The Gatha Sapta $ati of king Hala 
Satavahana contains many references and 
descriptions relating to the Andhra coun- 
try proper. 

In one of the Gathas of Hfila's Sapta 
Sati, it is said that there was no royal 
house equal in prowess and nobility to 
that of the Satavahanas in all the country 
wherein the Godavari rises, flows, and falls 
into the sea. Mr. Ramakrishna Kavi, M.A., 
brings to light a new prakrit work of an 
unknown poet, called ' Lilavathl Pari- 
naya ' in the pages of the Telugu Monthly 
Bharathi of Madras. This work describes 
the marriage of king Hala with princess 
Lllavathi, daughter of the Lord of the Srhr 
gala Dvlpa, in the shrine of Nagna ( PaSu- 
pata ) Bhlma on the sacred bank of the 
Sapta Godavaram. Sapta Godavaram is 
no other than the modern village of Daksha- 
rama, Ramachandrapur Taluk, in the East 
Godavari District, where stands to this day 
the magnificent eastren Chalukya temple 
of Bhlmesvara and a holy tank (now a 
small pond, but at one time a huge one 
into which the waters from the Seven 
Streams of the Godavari flowed) called 
Sapta Godavari. On the Amaravati stupa, 
there is an inscription of GOtamiputra Sri 
Satakarni and quite recently the statue 

also has been found in the AmarSvati 
collections in the Madras Museum. Ano- 
ther inscription of Yajna 3rl Satakarni 
recording a grant to a Buddhist Monastery 
in the eighteenth year of his victorious 


reign was found in a place adjacent to the 
mouths of the Krishna river. I think the 
Vishnu deity known as Andhra Vallabha, 
or Andhra Nayaka or Andhra Vishnu and 
rl Vallabha and Sri Kakolani Natha at 
Srlkakulam on the Krishna river might be 
the deity called after one of the famous 
Satavahana princes, '^rlkakulamu' appears 
to have been the original name of the 
village now called Srlkakulam. The Andhra 
word ' Kolamu ' became Kula when the 
place became a place of Viashnavite 
importance and pilgrimage. The ' Sthala- 
mahatmya ' records that at some remote 
past, there existed a huge tank near the 
shrine in the village, from which the 
village acquired its name. But the word 
* Sirika ' appears to be Andhra Prakrt 
vikrti of the Sanskrit name, 3r!inukha, 
And then in the inscriptions of Vasisthl- 
putra Sri Pulum&yi, Satavahanas were 


mentioned as Brahmanas. The ^rfkakula 
Stala Mfihatmya also sates that the 
And bra NayakasvSmi (Vishnu) was born 
as a Brahmin in the house of Nagadfcva 
Bhattaraka and married a Brahmin girl. 
The story might relate to rlmukha Sata- 
karni. one of the earliest of the Sata- 
vahana Kings. It is said in one of the 
Buddhist Jataka stories, that the Andhra 
prince originally ruled over the country 
near the Telivaha river. The story of 
Lllavati's marriage shows that by the 
time of Hala Satavahana, the G5davari 
river had branched off before it fell into 
the sea. I think the Telivaha river men- 
tioned in the Buddhist Jataka stories 
might be the Tulyabhaga river, one 
of the seven branches of the GDdavari. 
In the erotic poetry of Sanskrit and other 
Desi languages, Andhra women are praised 
for their extraordinarily proportionate 
features of their body. And the fact finds 
ample proof in the marvellous sculptures 
of the Amaravati stupa. That Andhra 
ladies did not wear any such garment to 


cover their breasts, before or during the 
long period of construction of that edifice, 
the Amaravati stupa, is amply borne out 
by its beautiful sculptures of Andhra 
feminine beauty. The- ancient Andhra 


women copied their fashions from Paithan 
(Pratistha), from the Maharashtra and 
the Gurjara (Guzarati) \vomen, when they 
went there, and thus began to wear a 
bodice which is called in Andhra language 
'Ravika, and covered their bosom with 
their grament called paita. Paita is only 
a tadbhava of the name paithan or 
pratishtana. This only denotes that the 
name of the Nagara Paithan lent its name 
to the bosom covering cloth of the Andhra 
laides; Even the bodice ravika has re- 
tained its Paithan influence for it is called 
to this day ' Paithini ravika ' or Paithani 
ravika. The Sanskrit word ' Kanchuka * 
was not used evidently to denote the new 
fashion in the Andhra ladies' coustume 
for it happened to be an article of dress, 
common both for the gentlemen and 
ladies. Furthers it appears to have been 
used as a synonym for the Gurjara 
women's veil over her face in the Gatha 
Sapta $ati. In those days the Andhra, 
Dravida and Malayala women wore no 
bodices, and only the Andhra and the 
Karnataka women, after they Ccnme in 
contact with Paithan began to wear 
bodice, and covered their bosom with a 
payta. Still in the Dravida and the 
Malayala countries, women do not wear 
bodices (Ravika) to this day and even to 
this day men and women in Malabar, 
Travancore and Cochin wear alike a small 
upper cloth (Uttarlya) to cover the upper 
part of their bodies ; and curiously enough 
their women do not wear any bodice 
(Ravika) at all. After the fall of the 
Satavahanas, the Andhras lost all touch 
with Paithan and that erstwhile fashiona- 
ble city and capital of the Satavahana 
kings dwindled itself into a small village 
and became almost forgotten in course of 
time. Paithini-ravika and ' Payita ' thus 
became fashion for the Andhra women 

ever since they came into contact with the 
Satavahana capital in the west when it 
was in its hoy-day of glory, magnificence 
and luxury. That Paithan had close con- 
tact with the Andhra country, stretching 
as far as the shores of the Bay of Bengal 
and the mouths of the Gddavari and the 
Krishna, is clearly established by the fact 
of the exclusive use of the words Paithani, 
ravika and Payita in the Andhra language 
even to this day. The Satavahana in- 
scriptions mention the Satav^hanas as 
having ruled over the whole of the 
Andhra country, i e , Mulukadesa. The 
puranas clearly state that the Sata- 
vahanas were Andhras. N > other part of 
India except the country lying between 
the rivers Godavari and the Krishna as 
far as the sea on the east, i.e.. practically 
the whole of the central and the eastern 
Dekkan, retains the name Andhra and no 
other province or people had ever claimed 
to be Andhra or Andhras during the last 
two thousand years. It is therefore 
certainly a matter of pride and joy to 
know that their ancestors conquered 
other lands and people and carved a great 
empire and handed down a great heritage 
to them. The original home of the Sata- 
vahanas might be Mulaka (Southern 
Andhra) or jjatavahnaratta, in the Mulaka- 
desa. In the face of these facts it 
is ridiculous to contend that the Sata- 
vahanas were not Andhras and that they 
did not rule over the Andhra country. 
Pandit Baghavanlal Indraji thought that 
Mulukas might be the people mentioned 
as Mundakas in the Vishnu Purana. This 
might be so. In my article on the 
Ikshv&kus in the pages of Bharati (Pra- 
bhava : Pushya Number) I stated that the 
Andhras were also called Mundiyas in 
the Dharmamrtakatha. Mundiya and Mun- 

daka might mean the same thing and 
the Mundiyas mentioned in the Dharma- 
mrtakatha might be identical with the 
Mundakas referred to in the Vishnu 

All the evidence discussed above, I 
think, is sufficient to answer their charge 
that the Satavahanas were not Andhras 
and refute their arguments. In the story 
of the Lllavathi referred to above, Siddha 
Nagarjuna is said to be the minister 
of King Hala Satavahana. The Siddha 
Nngfirjunakonda in the Guntur district 
and the various ancient monuments 
consisting of Buddhist Stupas and other 
monastery-halls point out that Nagfirjuna 
was an Andhra. Besides, there are many 
more things in the Gatha Sapta $ati that 
would clearly illustrate the fact that the 
Satavahanas were Andhras. I shall deal 
with them in a separate paper. 



Ikshvakus and 
thier origin 

Q'rl Rama, the Great Hero of the Rama- 
yana, belonged to the Aryan clan of 
Ikshvaku. And he was of the Krta Yuga 
(first of the four great periods of the 
Hindu Astronomers). The dynasties of 
the fourth period Kaliyuga are described 
in the puranas. The latter say that after 
twenty nine monarchs of the Ikshvaku 
dynasty ruled the land, kings of other 
royal clans reigned for 1530 years followed 
by the Andhra rulers who held sway for 
over 560 years. Research scholars have 
found that the Satavahana era is from 
150 B. C. to 300 A. D. If the puranas are 
taken as authentic, the conclusion is in- 
evitable that the Ikshvakus existed round 
about three thousand five hundred years 
ago. 3rl Rama was the ruler of K5sala 
These Ikshvakus of the Kali Yuga age 
may also be brackettcd with the kings of 

Not all this is puranic. The Buddhist 
Stupa on the summit of the hill at 
Jaggayapeta in the Krishna District of 
Andhra was excavated a few years ago by 
the Department of Archaeology. Some of 
the inscriptions of the Ikshvakus were 
found there. On the authority of the 
scripts, the epigraphists guess them as be- 
longing to 300 AD. One of the names found 
is that of an Ikshvaku ruler Purusadatta. 
The Buddhist stupa at Nagarjuni-konda, 
also called rl Parvata, was dug up last 
year. Announcements of the results from 
these excavations is awaited with great 

So much for historical and epigraphic 

Recently, the Mysore Government publi- 
shed a Kannada work, Dharmamrta. It is 


a Jain work by one Nayasenacharya in 
1125 A. D. It may be an adaptation from 
some Prakrt work. The eleventh chapter 
of this Dharmamrita has a story pertain- 
ing to the Ikshvakus and Andhra Desa. It 
says : 

" During the time of Tlrthankara 
Vasupujya, the Ikshvaku king Yasodhara 
was ruling the region of Anga with 
Champapura as his capital. He had three 
sons by the names Anantavlrya, Srldhara 
and Priyabala. Now this Yasodhara went 
on conquering the kingdoms of Magadha, 
Karnataka, Gowla ( Karnataka Golla ) 
Lata, Cola, Cera, Pandya and Kalinga. 
Finally he reached Vengi Desa. The 
prosperity of the region fascinated the 
conquering monarch and he decided to 
settle there. He constructed there a 
capital city by name Pratipalapura- 
worthy of his fame. His was indeed a 
great reign. As the evening of his life 
drew near, the king wanted to leave the 
burden of rule to his sons, go to the forest 
and spend the rest of his life in the 
worship of Jinendra. The sons answered 
him that they would not be kings but 
wanted to spend their lives as sages in the 
service of Jinendra. At last, he could 
persuade the third son Priyabala to 
accept the sceptre and left for the forest. 
Initiated into Jina Dlksha by Acharya 
Vigvasena, he and the other two sons 
were immersed in penance on the summit 
of the hill Jata Sikhara. The king and 
the eldest son attained Nirvana. But the 
second son Srldharacarya, also known 
as Akalanka continued his penance. And 
Priyabala who was ruling at Pratipalapura 
died of snake bite while on a hunting 
expedition in the forests. And he had no 
male heir. The Prime Minister Indra 
Prabhu kept the death a secret from the 
public, perfomed the funeral rites in 

The Buddha. Jaggayyapeia (An inscription can be seen below the Statue) 

Jag gay yap eta 

secrecy, while announcing that the king 
was confined to the sick-bed inside tl^e 
palace. Leaving his son in the protection 
of the realm, the able minister accompani- 
ed by a select few reached the RiBhiriivJisa 
Parvata. The group encamped on the 
nearby hill. He offered worship at the 
Jina temples. There he saw Srldhara- 
c&rya and entreated him, " Great sage ! 
Citizens of Vgngi are here to pay their 

respects. A number of them are decrepit 
and unable to ascend the hilP May you 
kindly descend to the foot of the hill and 
receive their homage ''. Not knowing the 
ruse, the sage went down and through 
the same method of falsehood, the mini- 
ster succeeded in taking him to the 
capital. There, he was told about the 
sudden demise" of Priyabala and how 
the dynasty would end as there was 
no son left by the late king. Sridhara- 
charya was prevailed upon to accept 
the crown and married life till such 
time as he could have a son as heir. 
He had after a time a son by name 
YasCdhara. He crowned the boy and 
feeling like an escaping prisoner went 
back to the Rishinivasa Parvata, again 
led the holy life under the inspiration 
of Jina and at last attained Nirvana. 
Since $rldharacarya performed his pe- 
nance there for a long time Rishi Parvata 
came to be known as $rl Parvata. Be- 
cuase he could find the path to salvation 
under a banyan tree towards the south 
of the hill, the tree became Siddha Vata. 
The place where the four types of Gods 
assembled with the idea of granting 
knowledge to Srldhara came to be called 
Atnaravati. While he was offering penan- 
ce under the Arjuna tree (Note Patrapetra 
Arjuna), the ethereal beings showered 
Mallika (Jasmine) flowers on him. Hence 
the name Mallikarjuna to the plac e . 
And Vriddhagiri is the spot where the 
Minister Indraprabha pleaded with $rl 
dhara that he should descend the hill to 
receive the homage of the aged (Vriddha) 
citizens of Vengi. Finally Srldhara's family 
was called the Mundiya VamSa and the 
playmates of his son playfully reminded 
the latter that he was the son of a 
Mundiya (shaven-headed). 

And in such a family as the Ikshvakus 
was born a king, Dhanada. He ruled the 

whole of VSngi with Pratipalapura as the 
capal. A Buddhist by name Sangha 
Sri had a nymph of a daughter Kama-la. 
Sri Dhanada took her as his consort and 
succeeded in converting her to the Jain- 
fold. His efforts to change the faith of 
his father-in-law were however fruitless 
for a long time. One day, some Jina 
Rishies were going along the sky. That 
sight convinced Sangha Sri and he became 
a Jain. But the Buddhist teacher Buddha 
Sri converted him to Buddhism. King 
Dhanada tried to bring him back into the 
Jain orbit, but to no avail. One day he 
asked the father-in-law in open court 
whether it was not true that he saw the 
Jain Rishies and became a Jain and so 
how was it that he embraced Buddhism 
again. Sangha Sri denied having seen 
any such sight upon which the Dfcvas of 
the town plucked off his eyes for uttering 
the untruth. The insulted Buddhist died 
of grief after sometime. He went to hell 
For seven successive generations, persons 
in his family were all born blind (Andha) ; 
the land where they lived came to be 

known as Andhaka Dgsa' ! That is 

the story. Now let us examine what all 
can be of real historic value here. 

Firstly, there is ample evidence to show 
that what is today known as Vengu Nadu 
is not the only territory that can be called 
VSngi Desam but that the latter term 
covered all the land of the Krishna and 
Godavari basins. Therefore, it is appro- 
priate that the name Vgngi should be 
synonymous with the term Sndhra Dgsa. 

Secondly, the Pratipfdapura in the tale 
may be Bhattiprolu in the Krishna Valley B 
King Dhanada also may not be a fictitious 
figure. May be that the city of Dhanadu- 
puram (ChandavSlu) today was founded 
after his name. This town, it may be 
recalled was the capital, of Chqla. Kings , 


(velanfiti Cholas), Epigraphic evidence is 
to the effect that the Dhanadapuram was 
was given away to the Cholas by Tril5- 
ohana, a Pallava. Since the latter was a 
contemporary of Karikala Chola, this town 
must be quite an ancient one. This is in 
the neighbourhood of Bhattiprolu. The 
inscription of Ganapatlswaram says that 
what is today known as Divi Seema in 
the Krishna District was the creation of 


Dhanada. The wording is " bvlpam purai 
tat Dhanadena Srstam ", Created by 
Dhanada should mean that he made it 
habitable. And this Dhanada should be 
the ruler of Dhanadapura. One of the 
inscriptions from Bhattiprfclu has the 
name ' Kubfcraka ' The implication in the 
terms Dhanada and Kubera deserves at- 
tention. The Vysyas in Andhra are known 
as KOmatis. Tradition has it that they 
are of the Kubera or Dhanada family. It 
may be remebered that Sri C. Veerabadhra 
Rao is of the opinion that the term 
Komati has come into vogue after the 
Jain God Gomateswara and that this 
name has something to do with the term 
Kubera found in the Bhattiprolu inscrip- 
tion. I propose to offer further proof of 
this in the near future. 
Thirdly, the Buddha is known by the 
name Sakya Sinha ; may be he was of the 
Ikshvaku clan. The following works from 
Linga Bhattiyam, a commentary to Amara 
Sinha's Namalinganu^asnam, provides 
proof of this contention. 

' aka Vriksha Pratichannam Vasam 
Yasmat Prachakrirg Tasmat ikshavaku 
Vamsyaste $akyaithi Samlritah.' 
The town of Champa was a very ancient 
one and Wcis the capital of the territory 
of Anga. During the Kamayana period it 
had the name Malini and was the capital 
of King IlOmapfida. During the Maha- 
bharata period its name was Camp a 
Nagara and it was then the capital of 
Karna. The twelfth Guru of the Jainas 
Vasupujya was born and also attained 
Nirvafia at this very Campa Pattana. 
His birth was in 500 B.C. and the temple 
to his memory built at that time still 
stands there today, The founder of 
Jainism, Mahavlra, performed the Cathur. 
masya ceremony here, For the local 
history of this place, one can see the 

Matsya Parana. Since Vasupujya existed 
either in 500 B. C. or even earlier it may 
be stated that the Ikshvakus came to 
Vengi Dfcsa either in 500 B.C. or earlier. 
Fourthly, it may be that the Stupa at 
BattiprOlu was erected by the Ikshvaku 
kings themselves and perhaps during the 
period a little immediately after the 
Nirvana of Buddha. For, the relic in the 
Stupa here is a bone from the actual 
physical body of the Lord Buddha. Since 
the inscriptions of the Ikshvakus are 
found at the Stupa in Jaggayapeta we 
may say that this was also their creation. 
Again as most of the inscriptions dis- 
covered so far at Nagarjunikonda are of 
the Ikshvakus, it is possible that the 
monuments here also were their handi- 
work. The stupas at Nagarjunikonda also 
come under Dhatugarbha type. Such a 
stupa is erected always over a bone or 
hair of the Lord Buddha. May be that 
the Stupa at Amuravati was also founded 
by the Ikshvaku Kings. The proof for 
this contention is this : There are many 
sculptured palaces of monarchs at Amara- 
vati. It is possible that these are of the 
kingp who erected the stupas. There is a 
sculpture at Jaggayyapeta also showing 
the figure of an emperor. The royal 
figures in stones at both Amaravati and 
Jaggayapeta are similar in many respects. 
The turban, the necklace, the ear-rings 
and the waist bands are all of the same 
type. At Amaravati was discovered a 
noble figure of a monarch but with the 
head and the arms missing, It however 
contains in script the letters ' Gstami 
Nama '. There are similar inscriptions 
on a number of other statues. All these 
deserve careful re-examination. It is 
quite possible that the royal figures at 
Jaggayyapeta and Amaravati are of the 
kings. Since the stupa at 

Jaggayyapeta was built by the Ikshvakus 
the figure on the sculptured slab there, 
must be of an Ikshvaku king. Since 
similar figures are in evidence at Amaravati 
stupa it must be also an Ikshvaku crea- 
tion. Even at Amaravati there is an 
Ikshvaku inscription. I suspect that all 
the stupas in Andhra Desa were erected 
by the Ikshvakus. Future research can 
only throw further light. 

Fifthly, since it is a Jain work, the 
story of Dhanada is given great promi- 
nence in Dharmamrta. Since it is stated 
that Vengi became Andhra ( Andhaka ) by 
name, after the family of Sangha 3rl it is 
obvious that the family was famous. The 
story also indicates greater prominence 
for the Budhist, Sangha Sri, than' for the 
Jain Dhanada, in the land of Vengi. It is 
possible that people of this family of 
Sangha Sri were responsible for the con- 
struction of these stupas. There are 
temples of Jina in the Telugu area. Those 
of the Dhanada family must have erected 
them. Near the south banks of Krishna 
we have the temple of Jinesvara'at Mulu- 
g6ti in the Guntur district (Sattenapalli 
Taluk). The local record reports large 
mounds there. May be this was a Jain 
Basti, The inscriptions on the mound 
indicates the presence of the Jain temple 
for 'Jinesvara' there. This can be veri- 
fied only by examination of the mound. 

Seventhly, about the term Andhra. In 
the Desi tongue this must have become 
Andhra or Andh vru in the plural (it may 
be pointed out that the differentiation 
into two distinct languages, Kannada and 
Telugu, had not yet taken place), the 
Andhra derived from this. In fact, the 
word Andhra is of recent origin. In ancient 
times we get only the word Andhra and 
not Andhra. It is also probable that 
since the Dharmamrta story must have 

The casket of Lord Buddha's relics along with 
the Svastika Symbols and golden floivers 


taken place a little after 500 B.C. their 
name came into vogue from the tale or the 
name of the territory could have been 
derived after the name of the rulers. 
I have explained it elsewhere in my article 
on the Satavahanas. Whether this story 
and the one in the Aitareya Brahmana has 
any connection deserves examination. It 
may be that the compilers of the Jain 
work Dhrmamrta had, out of anger 
against the Andhra Buddhist Family of 
Sangha &ri, coined the story of blindness 
(Andha) in that family and from this 
derived a name for the territory, though 
in all probability that name was in vogue 
from more ancient times. 

And seventhly, we cannot argue that 
the origin of the names Sri Saila, malli- 
karjuna, etc., was a fiction. For Malli- 
natha, Mallisens, Mallesvara were famous 
names among the jains also. Hence the 
great possibility of the name Mallikarjuna 
being originally Jain. The Saivites could 
have occupied the place and later made 
the names their own. It is well known 
that Amaravati (in the Guntur District) 
was a Buddhist center. Again, it might 
have been formerly a Jain center also. 
It was customary for people of one faith 
to make their own, any former centre of 


another faith when that religious centre 
was a famous one. The Hindu temple of 
Amaresvara at Amaravati today seems to 
have been built over a great construction 
of former time. This structure is closed 
on all the three sides as well as at the top 
and the Hindu temple is raised over this. 
iMay be this closce construction was Jain. 
Possibly, the JSaivaites usurped the place 
of the Jains, aud built the Siva temple 
over the Jain structure. 

The hill of Tripurantaka at the foot of 
rl $ailam in Andhra has the names, 
Tarunacala and Kumaracala. This is 
said to be the eastern gateway of Sri 
$aila. While the Siddhavata is taken as 
the southern gateway, the Bala Brah- 
meswara spot in Alampur and and the 
pilgrim centre of Mahesvara one the banks 
of the Krishna, are described as the sou- 
thern and the northern gateways. All the 
jungle-clad territory of hill and dale, 
girted by these gateways is known as Sri 

Apart from these four main gateways, 
four secondary entrance are also known. 
To the north-east is the hill of siddha 
Nagarjuna (Nagarjuna konda). The Vrd- 
dhagiri of the Jain story was possibly the 
same hill. For, it is stated to have been 
a strong Jain centre. And since we have 
a Tarunacala (Young Hill) near $rl $aila, 
this Vriddhacala (old Hill) also existed as 
another nearby spot. 

Lastly, the Kavindra Vachana Samuc- 
cayaya has a verse by one Sangha rl in 
priase of the Buddha. Tn all probability 
this may be the same Buddhist mentioned 
in the Dharmamrta. Further, he is said 
to have belonged to the Mundfya Vamsa. 
I shall touch opon this while writing 
about the Satvahanas. 

In conclusion, I would like to draw the 
attention of the reder to the epigraphic 

evidence that the Chela kings who ruled 
Andhra and Dravida (Tamilnad) were 
Ikshvakus. It is also probable that the 
Ikshvakus of 600 B. C. who were at Vengi 
were connected to them. They might have 
spread from Vcngi to the Vellore and 
Cuddapah areas as also to the Chola 

The story from this Dhrmamrta makes 
one point clear that the Andhra area has 
been famous from the days of the Iksh- 
vakus. I believe that the tale is given 
wide credence. The writer existed during 
the century following Nannaya, the first 
historic poet of Andhra (of the llth cen. 
tury) and hence quite ancient. 

Acharya Nagarjuna 

'M'agarjuna was the Budhist Preacher 
who propounded what is known as 
the * Madhyamaka ' tenet in Buddhism. In 
1 Madhyamakavatara ' a treatise composed 
in 600 A. D. based on Nagarjuna's work 
called ' Madhyamakurika ', the learned 
author Chandrakirthi has, in trying to 
answer a possible query as to how Naga- 
rjuna's philosophic conclusion regarding 
.Dharma can be taken as reliable and autho- 
ritative, revealed a cartain strange infor- 
mation. To my knowledge so far, no histo- 
rian has noticed its significance for, the 
treatise was available only in the languages 
of China and Tibet. Recently, Sri Ayya- 
swami Sastry has rendered this work into 
Sanskrit and published it partly and so I 
have been able to recognise the important 
information referred to. 

In the 4th Chapter of * Madhyamakava- 
tara, ' the following verse occurs : 
Janathi Dharmam sa mahagabhlram 
Yathagamenapi nayena chanyaih 
Tatharya Nagarjuna sastra mtya 
Yatha vyavastham mata muccyata hi. 


Nagarjuna Nalanda 

The commentary in Sanskrit on this 
verse, is reproduced in extenso in the an- 
nexure, proceeds to bring out the idea 
mentioning at the same time various 
relevant facts proposed to be studied in 
this article. A gist of these extracts is 
furnished below : 

Bodhisatva (i. e, Buddha) moves in the 
realm of Prajnaparamita and hence he 
can visualise the true nature of Dharma. 
Just so even sage Naagarjuna can grasp 
the true philosophy of Dharma correctly. 
NSgSr juna has propounded the truth about 

Dharma by means of logic and scripture 
(Agamas)- The same thing is expounded 
by me (so says Candraklrthi). But if the 
query arises as to how Nagarjuna's con- 
clusions regarding scripture can have 
equal validity with that of Buddha, an 
answer can be furnished from among 
scriptures. It is stated in ' Arya Lanka- 
vatara Sutra ' (which is a message of 
Buddha himself) thus : 

"In Dakshinapatha Dehali, a monk by 
name Nagarjuna will live. He will esta- 
blish my (Buddha's) path under the name 
'Mahayana' and attain the realm of 
' Sukhavati ' ".(It is observed here that 
in the original text of Aryalankavatara 
sutra printed in Japan the word ' Vedali ' 



occurs in place of ' Dehali '. It has not 
been possible to identify this ' Dakshina- 
patha Vedali ' with any existing village in 
Andhradesa. Probably it must be located 
in the proximity of Nagarjunakonda. 

Further it is laid down, in another 
work called Arya Dvada^a Sahara Maha- 
megha ' which is again a message of 
Buddha himself, thus : 

"The son of Licchavi is radiating 
Ananda (i.e, delight) for all beings that 
came into his range of vision and hence 
he is known as Ananda. After 400 years 
since Nirvana, he will reappear as Monk 
Nagarjuna, propagate the light of message 
wider still, attain realisation in the realm 
of Suvisuddha Prabha and get renowned 
as ' Jiianakaraprabha '. 

Therefore, it can be held that Naga- 
rjuna's doctrines are not inconsistent with 

According to the above mentioned 
1 Madhyamakavatara ' Nagarjuna belonged 
to first century B.C. or first century A.D. 
Lankavatara Sutra is said to relate to 
2nd century A.D. That is why it should 
be possible that Nagarjuna's date was 
prior to that. 

There is, in a chapter of Rasa Katna- 
kara, a treatise on 'Medicine 5 in five parts 
composed by ' Nitya Mahasiddha, a 
wonderful description of rl $aila. At 
various places in that book, in the con- 
text of several controversial issues, Naga- 

rjuna is found to have been quoted- 
(' Pura Nagarjunoditam ' etc). In Kaksha 
puta Tantra also, another work of Naga- 
rjuna, several passages make it obvious 
that he was a Siddhapurusha (man of 
perfection). This book is available in the 
Oriental Manuscripts Library (at Madras). 
Several works of Nagarjuna on Buddhism, 
Alchemy arid Medicine are still unpubli- 
shed. His Buddhistic works are available 
in Tibet and China. One of his woiks on 
Medicine has also been printed. 

(Bharati, Tarana, Pushyamu). 



NATIVITY.: A part of the Amaravati titupa. The upper right panel illustrates 

Rani's dream. The left upper panel shows the queen telling her dream to Suddhddana. 

The lower right panel illustrates the Nativity. The lower left panel shows the infant 

being presented to the tutelary Deity (Yaksha.) of the Sakyas, 


7. - 

8, t, 10, 


11. side; 



at Jaggayyapeta belong to the twentieth 
regnal year of king Vlrapurusadatta and 
refer to the existence of a Mahacaitya 
(great monastery) of Lord Buddha at the 
place. The city of Vijayapuri in the 
Nagarjunakonda valley was the capital of 
these Iksvaku kings. 

They appear to have been overthrown 
by the Pallava king Simhavarman of 
Kanchi about the close of the third 
century A. D. A pillar inscription of 
Pallava Simhavarman has been found at 
Rentachintala in the Palnad Taluk of 
the Guntur District while the land called 
Andhrapatha comprising the Krishna- 
Guntur region is known to have been 
governed by a viceroy of the Pallava 
king Sivaskandavarman who ruled about 
the first quarter of the fourth century 
and performed many sacrifices including 
the ASvamedha from the city of Dhanya- 
kataka near Amaravatl. Sivaskanda- 
v'arman was probably the son and 
successor of Simhavarman. 

Evidence from 

So long we had very little knowledge of 
the currency of the Krishna-Guntur region 
during the age of the Iksvakus. No coins 
issued by any of the Iksvaku kings have 
so far been published. Recent excavations 
conducted at the site of the Iksvaku 
capital in the Nagarjunakonda valley by 
Dr. R. Subrahinanyam, Superintendent in 
the Department of Archaeology, Govern- 
ment of India, have led to the discovery 
of some coins that throw welcome light on 
the question. There is hardly any doubt 
that these coins were current at Vijaya- 
puri during the age of the Iksvakus and 
there is reason to believe that a number 
of them were issued by the Iksvaku kings 
themselves. The said coins are being 
noticed both in Dr. Subrahmanyam's 
report on the Nagarjunakonda excavations 

and in the Annual Report on Indian 
Epigraphy. The numbering of the coins 
quoted below follows that of the later 

Forty Coins 

The coins discovered at Nagarjunakonda 
are forty in number, thirtynine of which 
are of lead and one of copper. The Ujjain 
symbol seems to be the reverse type of all 
these coins, although they show some 
hitherto unknown obverse types. All the 
coins are very crudely struck and their 
state of preservation is unsatisfactory. 
The only copper coin (No. 40) of the lot 
may be compared with a Putin issue 
attributed to the Satavilhana king Yajna- 
Satakarni, which has been illustrated in 
Rapson's Catalogue of Indian Coins iu the 
British Museum, Plate VII, No, 1(50. It 
is difficult to say whether this is an issue 
of the Satavahanas or of the Iksvakus. 

One (No. 27) of the lead coins found at 
Nagarjunakonda seems to bear on the 
obverse the representation of the fore- 
part of a deer standing to the right. The 
obverse of eight other coins of the same 
metal (Nos. 1, 2 and 4 to 9) exhibits 
a crude representation of what looks like 
two persons mounted on horseback to 

left. On another coin (No. 3) of a similar 
type, the animal represented looks like an 
elephant. Eight other coins (Nos. 16 to 
23) exhibit an elephant to the right as 
their obverse type. No trace of any 
legend appears on them. 

The Most Important Find 

But the most interesting among the 
Nagarjunakonda coins are a group of six 
lead pieces (Nos, 10-16) bearing the re- 
pre>>entation of an elephant to right on 
the obverse. They are comparable to the 
other coins with the elephant on the 
obverso ; but the coins of this group 
mostly appear to bear traces of a few 
letters of an undecipheiablc legend. The 
letter Siri-Vira are, however, clear on one 
(No. 11) of the coins. It is tempting to 
attribute this coin to the Iksvaku king 
Vlrapurusadatta. The palaeography of 
the legend appears to suggest the age of 
the Iksvakus. 

The facts that the metal of these coins 
is lead and that they bear the Ujjain 
symbol on the reverse suggest their close 
connection with the coinage of the Satava- 
hanas to whom the Iksvakus appear to 
have originally owed allegiance. 



Seated Buddha Takht-i.Bahi 

The Identity of 

Nagarjuna-an enigma 


Dy Rasavada or Dhatuvada is meant the 
conversion of baser materials like 
iron, copper and lead into gold. 

There are great possibilities to guess 
its origin in India from time immemo- 

The literature of the Neo-Platonists 
(of 300 A.I).) makes it dear that among 
the countries of the West, Rasavada 
was known to Egypt first. It appears 
that Rasavada formed part of the Neo- 
Platonist philosophy. Further, we may 
imagine that their knowledge of this 
subject had its origin in the Hindu Rasa- 
vada. For, there was great philosophical 
intercourse between Neo-Platonist Alenan- 
dria and India. Therefore, we can take 
it that Rasavada was in vogue in India 
about the beginning of the Christian Era 

or even a little earlier. Popular sayings 
supporting our guess are supplied by the 
Chinese pilgrim Huen-Tsang who was in 
India in 700 A.D. 

Nagarjuna a Historical Review 

One of these legends is to the effect 
that the great Siddha Nagarjuna filled 
the coffers of his contemporary monarch, 
of the Andhra Satavahana Dynasty with 
gold, manufactured through his mastery 
over Rasavada. Again, in the Katha 
Sarit sagara, we read: 

Tasya Nagarjuno Nama Bodhisatvamsa 

Dayalurdana Seelasca Mantri Vijiiana 

Yah Sarvousadha Yukti Jnah Cakri 

Siddha Rasavanam 

A War-Chariot 
A mar ci rali 


Atma namcha Rajanam Vijaram 


The Buddhist Nagarjuna, who is praised 
in the above lines is stated to be a 
Minister of the Satavahana Emperor. 
This also shows us that the Tantrika and 
the Buddhist figures by the name Naga- 
rjuna is one and the same individual. 

It is not known in detail which of the 
Satavahanas this particular Emperor was. 
But it appears that this Nagarjuna who 
was a Tantrika was different from the 
other Nagarjuna, founder of Mahay ana and 
the originator of the Madhyamika Sutta. 
Now, historians say that this Acharya 
Nagarjuna was a contemporary of Emperor 
Kaniska (1 A.D.) and that he wrote to the 
Satavahana Emperor a letter called 
Suhrillekha, embodying the moral concepts 
of the Madhyamika School. 

This clearly indicates the existence of 
the Nagarjunas during the first or the 
second century after the commencement 
of the Christian Era. Of these, the 
Nagarjuna who was a Tantrika, had the 
name Siddha Nagarjuna. We find that 
though Buddhist monks of a later age 
were in the habit of having the term 
Siddha as a prefix to their names, this 
was not however the practice in 100 or 
200 A.D. Hence, the Nagarjuna who 
wrote the Suhrillekha cannot be the other 
Nagarjuna who was a Tantrika and Siddha. 
The writer of that historic letter is 
certainly Acharya Nagarjuna who esta- 
blished a Buddhist Vihara on Sri-parvata 
in the Nallamalai Hills of Andhra Desa 
and propagated the Mahayana School. 

History has another Nagarjuna, He 
was the Vice-Chancellor of the famous 
Buddhist University of Nalanda. There 
is definite historical evidence that the 
University was not founded prior to 400 


A.D. Rasayana Vidya ( Chemistry ) and 
Dhatuvada formed part of the syllabus 
at Nalanda. From this, it would be 
correct to conclude that the teaching and 
practice of these subjects was in vogue in 
400 A.D. 

We have no extant works on Dhatuvada 
either by the Siddha of 200 A.D. or by 
the Vice-Chancellor of 400 A.D. Legends 
and popular tales are the only evidence 
we have of their existence. If we are to 
believe these legends, it would be correct 
to imagine the existence of Dhatuvada in 
India in 100 or 200 A.D. in a rather 
popular manner. And this flowering of 
knowledge must have been responsible 
for the Neo-Platonist theories. 

The Kuttanimafa School and 

The work Kuttanimata by Damodara 
Gupta gives enough proof to indicate the 
wide-spread nature of Dhatuvada Sastra 
in India in 400 or 500 A. D. itself. 

Read what it says while describing the 
city of Varanasi (Benares) : 

Sula Bhrto Dhyanasthah Padavedisu 

Yatra Dhatuvaditvam 

Suratesvabalakramanam, Danacchedo 

(Kuttanimata Verse 12) 

The verse condemns Dhatuvada toge- 
ther with rape, the carrying of a lance 
or the break of a promise. The conclu- 
sion is obvious. Dhatuvada should have 
been by then at least three to four 
hundred years old to deserve such poetic 
condemnation. This Damodara Gupta 
was the minister to the king of Kashmir, 
Jayapceda who reigned from 770 A. D. to 
813 (See " Introduction to Rajatarangini " 
by Stein). This means that the minister 
lived towards the close of the 8th century. 
And if Dhatuvada was in existence at 

least for 400 years before this, it must 
have had its origin in 400 A. D. at least. 
So, Dhatuvada was unquestionably in 
wide prevalence at the commencement of 
the Nalanda period. 
Tantrasastra and Dhatuvada 

The Golden Age of Dhatuvada can be 
safely stated to be that period when it 
was yoked to Tantrasastra. These 
latter are all Saivaite fundamentally. 
The presiding deities for these sciences were 
Lord 3iva and his consort Parvati. 
The main aim of these Sfistras was to 
bring about a union of souls with $iva 
And the method was a worship of the 
Tantric kind. Such uninterrupted worship 
required a strong physique. The secret 
for the attainment of such a strong human 
constitution lay in Rasasiddhi. This 
actually meant the conversion of mercury 
into a Rasayana through tantric means 
of alchemy. By Rasayana is meant the 
elixir which keeps the body free of 
disease and makes it immortal. Though 
Dhatuvada was part of Tantra, it was 
certainly not the main theme. 

Na Ca Rasa Sastram Dhatuvadardha 
Meveti Mantavyam 

Dehadvara Muktireva Paraina 

(Sarvadargana Sangraha) 

" Rasavada is not merely for conversion 
of materials into gold. Its main purpose 
is to make the body immortal and attain 
Mukti (Salvation)" is the meaning of 
these lines. Rasavada became more and 
more widely spread after it was linked to 

The Tantric Period and the 
Development of Chemistry 

The Tantric period continued from 900 
A.D. to 1400 A.D. Not only gaivaites 
but even famous Buddhists were in it. 


Several works on the science appeared 
during the period. We have even today 
many a published and unpublished work 
of this type. 

The saVants of the period include 
Govinda Bhikshu, Somadeva, Nagarjuna, 
Ramachandra and Svacchanda Bhairava 
They improved both Rasavada as well as 
the Rasayana Sastra i.e. chemistry of the 
day. Thus we again get the name of 
Nagarjuna. The name of the Tantrika 
Nagarjuna is not found in the Sarva- 
dar^ana Saihgraha of Mftdhavacharya. 
Still, the hitter's work mentions Govinda 
Bhikshu (who lived four hundred years 
after Nagarjuna) and quotations from his 
work Rasahridaya. Nagarjuna mentions 
several predecessors in his book Rasa- 
ratnfikarfi. Govinda Bhikshu was one- 
So it is correct to place Govinda Bhikshu 
at the beginning of the Tantric period. 
He is mentioned as Govinda Bhagavatpacla 
by Madhavacharya in his SarvadarSana 
Samgraha written at the commencement 
of the 14th century. This Bhagavat is a 
term of respect and is generally a prefix 


to the names of savants who arc no more. 
So, Govinda Bhikshu cannot be taken as 
a contemporary of Madhavacharya. This 
justifies the contention that the former 
lived at least four to five hundred years 
earlier than the latter, which means that 
Govinda Bhikshu could belong to the Oth 
or 10th century. There is popular belief 
that it was lie who was the Guru of Sri 
Sankarficharya. Both at the beginning and 
at the concluding portion of the Rasahri- 
daya, a tribute is paid to Buddha which 
clearly shows tho Buddhist leanings of 
the author. It would not be proper to 
say thnt Sri Sankaracharya who revived 
Hinduism, ever took anything from a 
Buddhist Guru Again, the knowledge 
of chemistry th -t we find in the Rasahii- 
daya appears tt be much more recent. 

The Rasaratnakara 

The name of Nagarjuna stands supreme 
among the Rasavadis of tho Tantrika 
period. He compiled many a treatise on 
Rasavada, drawing freely from his prede- 
cessors. Of these, the Rasaratnakara is 
a mirror of all tho relevant knowledge of 
the day. Various methods, machines like 
the Vfiluka Yantra, etc. crystallisation? 
solidifying liquids distillation the collec- 
tion of sublimated vapours into proper 
receptacles, preparation of different kinds 
of bhasma...all this and much more is 
found here in detail. 

In this work, Nagarjuna addresses the 
Goddess Parvati thus. 
" Dvadas'fmica Varsfmi MahakleSokrto- 

YaditustasiMe DevlSarvadfi Bhaktavatsale 

Durlabhaih Trisu Lokesu Rasabaddham 

Dadasvame ". 

The meaning is " I made a great effort 
for twelve years. Hence Oh Goddess! If 
thou art satisfied, please grant me rasa- 
siddhi, which is difficult of attainment 
even in all the three worlds." 

When there was enough to deserve an 
effort, and that too, a great effort, for a 
span of twelve years, we can guess the 
spread of this science Rasavada and its 
comprehensiveness. The same Nfignrjunii 
praises elsewhere the greatness of Rasa 

" As long as this Science is in vogue, 
human beings shall not be harassed by 
hunger, diseases and poverty." 

These words are true today when the 
chemist has become a rival to the Creator. 

Though there is no direct evidence to 
indicate that the Tantrika Nagarjuna was 
of the 14th century, the mature stage of 
the science as described in his works and 
his mention of Govinda Bhikshu show his 
modern age. Besides, the Sarvadarsana 
Sanigraha does not mention his name. So, 
he is of an age later to Madhavacharyfi. 
When all these are considered, the Nagar- 
junfi of this Tantrik period lived either 
towards the end of the 14th or the 
commencement of the Loth century. 

On the whole, the name Nagarjuna is 
famous in the works of Mahfiyana, Tantra, 
Kasavfida and Rasfiyana. Just as the 
compilers of the Puranas are known by the 
name of Vyasa, it is equally significant 
that all those who were supreme in the 
Sciences of Tatwa, Tantrika and Rasavada 
were known by the name of Nagarjuna. 




Siddha Tflagariuna 


D ASAVIDYA is the Mother of what is 
known today as chemistry. And 
this science is a very ancient one in our 
land. Adepts in this form of ancient 
science have a traditional belie!' that the 
hero of RTuiuyana, Sri Rama learnt it from 
a Sage, Kalanatha and even wrote the great 
works, The Rama Rajiya and the Rasendra- 
We have today extracts from these 
works of Sri Rama. Again, tradition has 
it that a book on Rasavada by the name 
Arogyaprakasa was the product of Rama's 
rival, the Rakshasa King Havana. This 
contains recipes for many diseases; and 
the treatment is through the medium of 
several kinds of Rasayana or products of 
mercury (Rasa), Reference is made to 
the preparation and even application of a 
certain mineral acid ! ! Sage Patanjali 
(500 B. C.) wrote a treatise on mineral 
(Loha Sastra). The Greek, Herodotus 
wrote that the Yogis in India lived for 
hundreds of years by practising a diet of 

Shaving of the Hair. (260 A.D. Java) 

extracts made from mercury. It is stated 
that the founder of Mahayana Buddhism, 
Acarya Nagarjuna attained mastery over 
Rasavada and lived for some centuries; 
and the other Nagarjuna of 700 A. 1). was 
a great Siddha and was responsible for a 
work called the Rasa Vaisesika. He was 
a great master of this alchemy. The 
Nagarjuna of 200 A.I), has the reputation 
of being the founder of Rasa Vidya. The 
Chinese form of treatment by Rasa seems 
to have been borrowed from our country. 
Nagarjuna is called 4< Loong-Shu " in 
the 34th book of Sooshu (589-618 A.D) 
Loong means a snake in Chinese, and 
by Shu is meant a tree. Further, this 
Loong-Shu is described as the father of 
many a medicinal recipe. 

Medicine in ancient Andhra 

Medicine was of four kinds, according 
to our ancients: 1. That using rasa or 
mercury and other Minerals. 2. That 
which used herbs. 3. That which relied 
on the chanting of Mantras and finally 
4. Sastra Vydya or Surgery. And they 
were of the opinion that the first was 
a divine science, practised by the yogis, 
the other three being of the human level 
and of a cruel nature. It appears that 
this Rasavidya was not discovered by any 
human but was a Divine Revelation. 
The secret of this knowledge is shrouded 
in mystery. The yogis alone seem to have 
practised it. 

Rasacharya Kaviraja Bhoodeva Mukher- 
jee, Chief of the Ayurvedic College of Ben- 
gal, published in 192(5 the first volume of a 
great work, The Rasa Jalanidhi, an 
authoritative and scientific compilation. 
This contains material drawn from several 
works scattered throughout the country, 
checked and systematised on the basis 
of tradition. This first volume mentions 


clearly the different methods of treatment 
with mercury and ways in which it should 
be used internally, particularly how it 
should be utilised to make the human 
constitution strong and unbreakable as a 
diamond (vajra kfiya, as also its conversion 
into an ash (Bhasma) for transforming 
metals like copper into silver or gold. 

Rasavidya today 

Acharya Mukhorjee has also 
that he could get the secret of the know- 
ledge and the ability to coordinate the 
different facts in many ancient works 
because of his acquaintance with a certain 
yogi. Also that the yogi emphasised the 
need to prepare only that amount of gold 
which is necessary for a chaste daily life. 
And he actually prepared gold in the 
presence of Sri Mukherjee. Sri Mukherjee 
says that he has mentioned in the work 
the particular bhasrna which is used to 
make gold and asserts that if a Rasa 
Sala (Laboratory) is constructed as laid 
down and the instruments, herbs and 
other materials supplied, he is confident 
of achieving results through experiments, 

Here below are points from this Rasa- 
j ilanidhi. 

The Rasajalanidhi 

While the Guru (Teacher) should be a 
God-fearing scholar of high reputation, 
the disciple should be a studious and 
devoted aspirant. The importance of a 
strong and healthy physique for the latter 
is stressed. 

The design and choice of site for the 
construction of the laboratory is inte- 

" It should be located in a town with a 
temple, at the centre of a beautiful park 
having all necessary medicinal herbs, with 
fine ventilation, availability of fresh water 
in the neighbourhood and an undisturbed 

environment for calm and concentrated 
experimentation. Towards the East, where 
the rays of the sun shine prominently 
shall be constructed the Rasa Mandapa 
with a stone, like Buarty (Sphatika). 
There must be proper arrangements for 
storing all the necessary materials (Sarva 
Rasa). On a high pedestal at the centre 
of this chamber shall be installed the 
Rasalinga (the symbolic presiding deity 
in the form of a Phallus, made of mercury). 
This should be worshipped daily as laid 
down in the Sastra. 

Preparation of the Rasalinga is also 
described. It appears that mercury is 
mixed with I/ 3rd its weight of gold leaf, 
and grounded in a mortar with a vegetable 
(non-mineral) acid, enclosed in a lemon 
fruit and finally boiled in rice washing 
using a special receptacle called the 
Dola Yantra 

Five kinds of Rasa are described. Of 
these, the black variety, the Rasendra 
is useful for travel in space ? The eight 
kinds of Upa Rasas mentioned include 
sulphur, bitumen, orpiment and some 
kinds of gems. 

Methods to prepare a Mritasamjeevani 
Ghutika (a pill which is the elixir of life) 
and the Philosophers' Stone (Sparsamani) 
are also described. 

Regarding the proportion of mixing 
mercury and gold or silver for use in 
transforming other metals to gold, if the 
proportions are equal, it is termed a 
Seetabhedi. This means it can convert 
into gold a metal hundred times heavier. 
Similar mixtures in the upper gradation 
go up to a Koti Bhedi which can trans- 
form into gold a metal eight times its 
weight. Various procedures of trans- 
forming metals into gold are also found. 

Knowledge of Metals 

The fourth volume of the work describes 
the preparation of six kinds of steel. Of 


Amaravati Sculpture The Scene $hows a Royal 
figure receiving a man and woman ; below, 
a line of foot-soldiers guarding the city wall 


The Bath of the BodhisattvaWhiln lime stone. Amaravati Middle 2nd century A. D. 


these, the most curious is the 
Tarapattaloha, which is black 
in colour and soft. This has 
to be manufactured in small 
quantities. Most interesting is 
the point that it does not rust !! 
The famous pillar at Delhi was 
possibly made of such metal. 
The iron pillars at the Konarka 
temple (in Orissa) and the Canon 
at Vishnupur must be of this 
kind of iron. As late as 1880, 
the country had such metal- 
lurgists. But none to-day. 

This and the mention of other 
kin:ls of metal like the Vajra 
Loha which shone like a brilliant 
diamond when cut and the fine 
blue-black metal, the Kala Loha 
which has also the virtue of 
unbreakability are ample evide- 
nce of the mastery over metals 
in those days. 

This knowledge is decadent 
today. The Calcutta journal, 
Forward (Nov. 4, 1925) men- 
tioned some details regard- 
ing the subject from several 
unpublished palmyra manusc- 
ripts. Sri G. Vasudeva Sastri 
of Andhra recently handed over 
to me some manuscripts. These 
are full of processes to convert 
baser metals into gold, devices 
which can be utilised for the 
prospecting of minerals under- 
ground etc. 

Nagarjuna Mention in the 
Navanadha Charitra 

The Telugu work Navanadha 
Charitra by Poet Gourana (L5th 

Bddhisattva Ajanta 


Outer Casket* 

Fig. 2. Section. 

Fig. 3. Inner Casket. 

Relic Casket Ohantasala 

cent)gives the story of a Siddha Nfigfir juna. 
This is to the effect that this Nagarjuna 
who was a prince, became the target of a 
curse and had to spend some time as a 
serpent in the hole of a tree- trunk. By 
the grace of a Siddha, Meena Nadha, he 
regained his human form, became his dis- 
ciple and began to be known as Nagarjuna. 
Naga means a serpent and the term Arjuiia 
denotes the tree Pentapetra Arjuna. The 
name connotes the existence in a serpent 
form in a hole in the trunk. It is 
interesting to recall the Chinese name 
Loo-Shu for Nagarjuna in this connection 
to which a reference has already been 
made at the beginning of this article. 
A disciple of this Nagarjuna is stated to 
have attempted conversion of the hill of 
rl Parvata into gold and was killed by 
Lord Vishnu. For such easy access to 
the precious metal would certainly lead to 
greed and create anarchy, so goes the 
story in Gourana's work. In this context, 
an elaborate description of the manufac- 
ture of gold is given. 

The_Curious Finds at 7 

In 1953, the History Exhibition during 
the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the 
Andhra University had some curious 
exhibits excavated just then from the 
historic site of Nagarjunakonda. These 
include large enamel flasks (Kuppelu in 
Telugu) and Baka Yantras (retorts). 
The inside of a flask contained at the 
bottom some crusted material. There was 
also something resembling a spoon em- 
beded in this encrusted matter. These 
finds are an unmistakable evidence of the 
existence of alchemists around the historic 
place. We fcannot fix their date. But 
anyway they cannot be later than the 
Siddha Nagarjuna. For by that time, 
Nagarjunakonda had already lost its 
prominence. The material in those flasks 
deserves chemical analysis. 

Muga pakkha Jataka. Amardvathi. 
This depicts a previous incarnation of 
the Buddha as Prince Temiya, when, to 
win him over from renunciation, his 
father provided him with many a 
luxury. The relief is brimful ivith 
beautiful women, with charm, dance and 
music, which had no effect on the Prince. 


salutation oj the utepnants to me stupa 




Religion seeks to bring man into relation 
with God and thereby gives significance 
and balance to his earthly life. But even 
within the orbit of religious faith, man 
has not always found that balance an 
automatic gift. Both in the East and 
the West, honest souls have been sorely 
exercised over what is to be done with the 
flesh. Origen emasculated himself, and 
the Christian art of the Middle Ages 
tabooed the undraped human form. But 
to be fair to religion, we must admit that 
if the Renaissance restored the mental 
balance, it was not solely due to the 
philhellenic ecstasy of the humanists. 
Partly at least, it was due to the profound 
humanity of St. Francis of Assist who, 
like the Psalmist of old, called on the 
hills and valleys, the rivers and the woods 
to join him in praising God. 

These facts are relevant here because 
art is of the earth, earthy. The loftiest 
ideals, the most religious of inspirations 
must clothe themselves in material form 
if they have to communicate their message 
as art and not as philosophical concepts. 

The oscillation we find in European 
religious faith can be seen in Buddhism 
also. This dirge still resounds amid the 
silences of innumerable monasteries : 

Sorrow is everywhere; $ 

In man is no abiding entity, 

In things no abiding reality. 

Nevertheless, it is true to say that for 
the majority of mankind the Buddha 
brought the message of peace rather 
than of world-denial. He himself was 
shocked into reconciliation with the devi- 
ous ways of the world by the realisation 
of the hurt he had caused. When he 


accepted his son Rahula into the Order 
and when Nanda, the next heir-apparent, 
left as in a trance in the midst of the 
coronation ceremony, King Sudhodana, 
the aged father of the Buddha, gently 
remonstrated with him : " When the Lord 
abandoned the world it was no small 
grief to me; so when Nanda went; and 
even more so with Rahula. The love of a 
son eats through the skin, through the flesh, 
the sinew, the marrow. Grant, Lord, that 
they, noble ones, may not confer the ordi- 
nation on a son without the permission of 
his father and mother." Quick to realise 
the pangs of the flesh, which can also be 
holy, the Buddha consented. 

The art of Ajanta, inspired by this 
genial and kindly spirit, has everything 
that can transmute the order of transience 
into a realm of imperishable beauty and 
meaning. It has a very sensuous grasp 
of form and colour. An intuition of the 
beauty of creation, close-knit like a 
family gathered together in a fertilising 
interdependence of plant and animal 
worlds, is latent in that perfect visualisa- 
tion of the Palasa tree, heavy with 
blossoms with an entwining creeper and it 
train of ants going up to gather the 

Siddhartha's own life, with its rich 
transitions, proved a perennial fountain 
of inspiration for art. Within the span 
of one human life, it condensed the whole 
processional movement of man's story, 
the child at the mother's breast, the 
infant at play, the youth at his pleasures, 
then the sickening of the senses and the 
turning away from the sheltered domestic 
hearth, the torments of the soul and the 
final enlightenment and the return to the 
fold of men. It is not surprising, there- 
fore, that the chisel and the brush, never 
tired of re-telling these episodes, and ac- 

companied the message of peace when Bud- 
dhism, during a period of more than a 
thousand years, radiated into the continent 
of Asia and to the sea-girt islands of the 

Afghanistan is perhaps the earliest re- 
cipient of this art. The flood tide of Ale- 
xander's conquest of Western Asia left 
the rich silt of Hellenism fertile to new 
growths. Under the Scleucids, the Greco- 
Bactrian kingdom, with its capital at 
present-day Balkh, was in intimate cul- 
tural intercourse with Giindhara, ruled by 
the Kushans from their capital at Purusha- 
pura, modern Peshawar. Buddhism, which 
began to spread just at the time when 
communication was established between 
India and the Hellenic Middle East, is the 
inspiration of this art, while the forms 
evolved in Greece are the basis of the 
material embodiment of the inspiration. 
Gandhara art was not confined to Kushan 
frontiers and the first known example of 
the Indo-Baetrian art, a circular relief of 
the Buddha, was actually discovered from 
a ruined stupa near Kabul, by Dr. Gerard 
in 1833. 

Painting also shared in that radiating 
influence of Buddhism, and Ajantan 
figures of tho Buddha seated in the 
Dharina Chakra pose and flying Apsaras 
are found on the roofs and walls of the 
vertical cliffs of Bamiyan which contain 
the two colossal statues of the Buddha, 
one nearly llo feet and the other over 
UK) feet in height. Lying midway on the 
Peshawar- Balkh route, Bamiyan, the 
axle of the Indian and Scythian halves of 
Kanishka's great empire, was a convenient 
halt for tbe caravans before and after the 
weary climb over the Hindu Kush. The 
" several dozen monasteries " and the 
"several thousand monks" whom Hieun 
Tsang found when he was received by 


The Nativity t Maya, the mother of 
Buddha, holds the branch of the Sata tree 
in the Lambini Grove. The infant Buddha 
is seen emerging from her right hip A 
Gandhara sculpture of 2-4th Century 



Aryasena and Aryadasa at Bamiyan owed 
much to the patronage of these rich 

\fter the death of the Biuldha, who had 
expressly warned against the tendency to 
worship him as a god, Buddhism evolved 
a crowded pantheon. A nodding acquain- 
tance with these deities is necessary for 
the understanding of continental Buddhist 
art. At the summit of the hierarchy 
are the Dhyani Buddhas Vairochana, 
Amitabha, Amoghasidhi, llatnasambhava 
and Akshobhya supra-mundane beings, 
free from defiling elements, possessed of 
limitless body and power. Next comes 
the compassionate Avalokitesvara or 
Lokesvara with his consort Tara and 
their attendants, the pleasant faced 
Ashoka Kanta, the fierce Hayagrlva and 
others. Almost on an equal level were 
Bodhisattva Manjusri, symbol of the 
wisdom, without which emancipation is 
impossible, and Prajnaparamita, the fe- 
male version of the same divinity. 

In Tibet and Nepal, these god's and 
goddesses were painted in banners, called 
" tangkas " and "prabhas", or in minia- 
tures illustrating palm leaf manuscripts. 
Almost the entire pantheon figured in the 
" mandalas " picture especially made for 
helping devotees in meditation, where the 
surface was divided into numerous cir- 


cular and square compartments each 
having a divinity. Both Tibet and Nepal 
produced excellent bronze sculptures 
inspired by the Buddhist pantheon. 

Through Tibet and Nepal, Buddhist art 
migrated to China. Aniko, a Nepalese 
Marco Polo, become Controller of Imperial 
Manufactures at the court of Kublai Khan 
in the thirteenth century and made a huge 
number of images and paintings for the 
Mongolian Emperor. Yi Yuan, a favourite 
disciple of his, learned from him how to 
make images and the Buddhist figures 
he made were set up in all the celebrated 
sanctuaries of Shanghai and Peking. The 
sea-routes also carried the radiation. 

Gunavarman, a prince of the royal 
blood, hailing from Kashmir, went to 
China after a lo.ig ministry in Sumatra 
and is said to have painted * Jataka ' 
scenes in Canton. It is the west, however, 
that has yielded plentiful records. From 
a walled up chapel in Tuii-huang in the 
Kansu province, Aurel Stein in 19069 
obtained many rolls of paintings. A 
ruined temple at Miran has a fresco illu- 
strating the " Vessantara Jataka" in an 
idiom which recalls Bharhut ; and the 
nymph in the lotus tank in the frescoes of 
Dandan Uiliq is an Indian Yakshini 
naturalised in China. 












Buddhism came to Japan in 552 A.D 
with a letter of recommendation to 
Emperor Kimmei from the King of Kudara 
in Korea who wrote: "This teaching is 

the most excellent of all teachings It 

has come to Korea from far-off India and 
the peoples of the countries lying between 
these two are now all its supporters ". 
In the year in which this epistle came, 
was born the Prince Regent Umayado, 
known to posterity by his posthumous 
title Shotoku (Sage Virtue), A disciple of 
Nagarjuna, Shotoku wrote a commentary 
on the " Sadharma Pundarika Sutra". 
His most precious gift to posterity is the 
collegiate foundation and temple at Hori- 
yuji in Nara. 

Step from the bright sunlight into the 
cool interior of the Kondo, or Golden 
Hall, and you will get the hallucination 
that you have been suddenly wafted thou- 
sands of miles away in the company 
of the gracious presences of Ajanta. 
These frescoes, painted not in Shotoku's 
time but in the eighth century, are nearer 
in spirit to Ajanta than even the paintings 
of Khotan. 

To the sea-girt forested island of Ceylon, 
Asoka in the third century B. C. sent the 
loveliest of gifts his own children Mahin- 
da and Sanghamitta and a branch of the 
Bodhi tree. According to " Mahavamsa." 
the relic chamber in the memorial edifice, 
Ruanwali, built in Anuradhapura in the 
first century B. C. by King Duttha Gamini, 
was adorned with illustrations of the 
" Vessantara Jataka." These have perish- 
ed. But the frescoes executed by order of 
King Kasyapa towards the end of the fifth 
century, in the walled gallery leading to 
his palace on the summit of the natural 
fortress of Sigiriya have survived. 

The freseoes have no religious signifi- 
cance and are most probably portraits of 


Two Worshippers in procession , within 
arched niche. Gandhara style. One with 
folded hands, the other carrying offer- 
ings, They wear heavy shawls, whose 
treatment seems to articipate the style 
of drapery in the Chinese cave sanc- 
tuaries at Lung Men. Private collec- 
tion, Delhi. 


the ladies of the royal harem. Sigiriya 
therefore is an interesting example of the 
way in which artistic traditions spread 
from land to land. A style, which deve- 
loped originally in close association with 
religious motives, had crossed the seas 
along with religious doctrines and has 
been employed later in the representation 
of secular themes. 

The Jataka stories mention merchant 
ships sailing down the Ganges into the 
open sea and voyaging to the Arakan 
coast, to Indo-China arid to the Indonesian 
islands. In the trail of Indian missionaries, 
Indian artists also migrated to Burma. 
In the Talaing country there was intimate 
co-operation between Indian and local 
artists and when Anawarta of Pagan 
conquered Thaton, this synthetic art in 
turn conquered Pagan. 

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and episodes 
from the Jatakas form the themes of the 
murals in the temples of Pagan. Buddhism 
slowly gained ground in Indo-China, for 
we read that in the fifth century, Fu-nan 
or South Cambodia sent to China two 

Buddhist monks, S'anghabhara and 
Mandra, who translated Buddhist texts 
into Chinese at the behest of the Emperor. 
Though Angkor Vat was the supreme 
expression of the Hindu culture of Cam- 
bodia, Buddhism also played a part in 
determining the artistic styles of the 

In Java, Buddhism was the dominant 
faith. Fa-Hien visited Java and Guna- 
varman preached there in the fifth century. 
Borabodur, built by the Mahayanist 
kings of the maritime kingdom of Srlvijaya 
in Sumatra, is a whole hill carved into a 
Buddhist stupa. The wonderful bas-reliefs 
are a translation in stone of the " Lalita- 
Vistara". The galleries get bare as one 
ascends from the lower to the higher 
levels. In this symbolic treatment, Bud- 
dhist art becomes perfectly reconciled 
to the transcendental outlook of the faith. 
The soul voyages towards " Sunyata " or 
the void. But except on the bare heights 
it can keep the company of the forms of 
the earth and derive joy and courage 
from the narratives in stone and colour 
about those who have gone before. 


Monks and Laity worshipping The 

Buddha, as a pillar of Fire. Amara- 

vati. Presented by Cdvt. of Madras to 

British Museum in 



T 11 





HTlie oldest epigraphical records that have; 
been discovered in the Telugu coun- 
try, as elsewhere in India, are all inscribed 
in Prakrit. First of all we have the inscrip- 
tions of ASoka in the 3rd Century. B. C. 
They are found in the south at Jaugada 
(in Kalinga), Yerragudi and Rajula Manda- 
giri (in Andhra), Ramesvaram, Brahma- 
giri, Maski, Koppal, Jatinga and Siddha- 
puram. The purpose of the inscriptions 
is the propagation of Dharrna among the 
people. They are written in Brahmi 
characters which are very simple when 
compared with the modern varieties that 
developed from them. The language is 
also simple and directly appeals to the 
heart. On account of the simplicity of 
the style and the dignity and loftiness of 
the subject matter, the A^okan inscrip- 
tions are worthy of being read as one 
of the best pieces of literature. 

The Prakrit inscriptions that have come 
down to us range in date from the time of 
ASoka upto the 3rd Cent. A. D. The period 
coincides with the heyday of Buddhism 
in Andhra. Not only was Prakrit the 
spoken language of the early Andhra 
ruling dynasties, it was also the vehicle of 
Buddhistic religion, especially Pali which 
was ancient Prakrit, which in course of 
time became standardised as a literary 
dialect. The centres of Buddhism were 
primarily located in the Krishna and 
Guntur districts, as at Amaravati, Bhaitt- 
prolu, Jaggayyapeta and Nagarjuna- 
konda. An overwhelming majority of 


the Prakrit inscriptions have been found 
at these places. The headquarters of 
the ruling dynasties of the early period 
was also located in this area. 

Tn fact the first capital city of the 
Andhras seems to have been built on 
the banks of the river Krishna. A work 
called Srlkakula Mahatmyamu by Kodanda- 
rfima Kavi (Ed. by Sri K. Rfimakrishnaiya 
and published by the Madras University, 
1940) records an old tradition regarding 
the founding of this capital. The King 
Andhra Vallabha is said to have ruled 
from this place after overcoming his foe, 
the Daitya Niutnbha, probably a powerful 
leader of the aboriginal (Naga) tribes 
inhabiting this part of the Dandakaranya. 
And it was this King who was later deified 
and worshipped at Srlkfikula as Andhra 
Vishnu and Andhra Vallabha. The site 
of the ancient town was washed away by 
the river and the capital was transferred 
to a neighbouring place, probably Dhanya 
Kataka which was in a flourishing condi- 
tion even by the 3rd Cent. B. C. 

Among the Prakrit inscriptions, the 
Bhattiprolu Buddhist casket inscriptions 
(EL II 323-329) present the most ancient 
type of characters and are assigned to tho 
3rd Cent. B. C. They record the gift of 
caskets intended for the relics of Buddha. 
One of the inscriptions mentions a King 
called Kublraka. The characters of the 
inscriptions agree in general with the 
Aokan inscriptions but show some peculia- 
rities met with nowhere else. Buhler 


thinks that several local varieties of the 
Brahmi alphabet must have been in use 
in the south and the art of writing prac- 
ticed here several centuries before the 
M aur y an epoch. 

The largest find of Prakrit inscriptions, 
about 180 come from the site of the 
Amarfivati Stupa. The first collection of 
120 inscriptions were listed by Luders 
(El. X. Appendix) and were published for 
the most part by Burgess (Archaeological 
Survey of Southern India. Vol. I). The 
second set of 58 inscriptions were edited 
by Ramaprasad Clianda (ET. XV. 258-275). 
They generally mention gifts of pillars, 
rails, slabs etc. to the Mahacaitya by 
private donors. " The real historical value 
of the present collection of the Amaravati 
votive inscriptions ", says R. P. Chanda, 
' consists in the light which it throws by 
palaeographic indications on the successive 
stages in the growth of this noble monu- 
ment. These indications, in conjunction 

with the chronological indications of the 
sculptures themselves may enable students 
to reconstruct the history of the Maha- 
caitya for about 4 to 5 centuries from the 
2nd Cent. B.C., to the 3rd Cent. A. D." 
The Amaravati inscriptions are ascribed 
to the 2nd Cent. B. C. or the 1st or 2nd 
Cent. A. D. 

One of the Amaravati inscriptions is 
dated in the reign of the &itavahana king 
Vasisthlputra Pulumayi who ruled in the 
middle of the 2nd Cent. A. D. The text of 
the inscription is given below with the 
English translation: 

1. Sidham rano Vasithiputasa Sami siri 
Pulumavisa savachara.. Piriidasutari- 
yanam Kahutara gahapatisa Caputasa 
Isilasa sabhatukasa. (sama)... 

2. saganikasa Hiayaya casa nakanikaya 
saputakasa mahacetiye cetikiyanam 
nikasa parigahe aparaclare dhariiaca- 
karii dedharhmaih thapita. 

"In the year of the King, the son of 
the queen of the Vasistha family, the lord 
Sri Pulumayi at the western gate 
a dharma-chakara was established, meri- 
torious gift to the great chaitya (and) 
in possession of the school of Chaitikiyas 


by (two) Pirhdasutariyas by the house- 
holder Kahutara and by Isila (Rishila), 
the son of the householder Puri with his 
brothers ..and with his wife Nakanika 
with his sons." 

According to Burgess this inscription 
indicates that during the reign of this 
monarch or about the middle of the second 
century, the stupa at Amaravati was 
undergoing additions or embellishments- 
It may also be noted here that according 
to a tradition which is recorded by Indian 
as well as Chinese writers, the name of 
Nagarjuna, the founder of the Mahayana 
school of Buddhism was closely associated 
with a Sfitavfi liana King. R. P. Chanda 
identifies the Satavahana in question with 
Vasisthiputra Pulumayi. There is again 
a tradition preserved in Tibet which says 
that Nagarjuna surrounded the great 
shrine of Dhanyakataka with a railing. 
"It was probably owing to a stimulus 
that Nagarjuna gave to Buddhism that 
the restoration of the glory of the Maha- 
caitya was undertaken by the Andhra 
people, among whom we come across a 
chamar (Charmakara). The fine sculp- 
tures of Amaravati assignable to the 2nd 
Cent. A. D. bear eloquent testimony to the 
piety and refinement of the Andhras of 
those days ". 

There are only 3 other inscriptions of 
Satavahanas from the Telugu area, al- 
though this dynasty has ruled for an un- 
usually long period of time in the Deccan. 
(1) China Buddhist stone ins. of Gautami- 
putra Satakarni (El. I. 95), (2) Adorn 
(Myakadoni) ins. of the time of Siri 
Pulumayi, identified with Vasisthiputra 
Sri Pulumayi, II; and (3) Kodavali rock- 
cut ins. of Chamdaaati (El. XVIIT. 316). 
The Adoni ins. registers the construction 
of a tank by a certain house-holder. The 
text is as follows : "On the first fortnight 


of the 2nd month of winter in the 8th 
year of the reign of Siri Pulumayi, King 
of the Satavahana (family), the reservoir 
was sunk by the householder (gahapatika) 
...resident of the village of Vepuraka 
belonging to the the Captain (gunika) 
Kumfiradata in the country (janapada) of 
Satavahanahara belonging to the great 
general Khamdanaga (Skandanaga)." The 
inscription is of great importance for the 
history of the Telugu language for herein 
first occurs a linguistic form which can be 
proved to be Telugu beyond doubt-Vep-ur- 
aka. It is formed of Verrni (Vernbu) 
' rnargosa '-f uru 'village'. The hardening 
of the final consonant of the word when it 
becomes an adjective is common enough in 
Telugu. Cf. Parnbu pamu : pap a-redu J 
irumbu inumu : inup-a-kammi. 

After the Satavahanas, the ruling dyna- 
sties represented in the inscriptions are 
the Iksvakus, the Pallavas. the Brhat- 
palayanas, the Salakayanas and the Anan- 
das. The Tksvilkus are identified with 
the Srlparvatiyas mentioned in the Pura- 
nas. A large number of inscriptions be- 
longing to this dynasty were discovered in 
Nfigfirjunakonda (edited by Vogel E:I. 
XX. 1-37). They refer to three kings 
Vasisthiputra Sri Santamula, Madhari- 
putra rl Virapurushadatta and his son 
and successor Ehuvala Santamula. The 
first was an ardent follower of Brah- 
manisrn, eulogised in many of the inscrip- 
tions as having performed Vedic sacrifices, 
Agnihotra Agnisthoma, Vajapeya. and 
Asvamedha. His son was Virapurusha- 
datta. The various monuments at Nagar- 
junakonda were raised during his rule. 
The Mahacaitya at the place was founded 
by Camtasiri-the paternal aunt of Vlra- 
purushadatta, and wife of Mahatalavara 
Vasisthlputa Khamdasiri of the Pukiya 
family. King Virapurushadatta himself 

.. r^t^rrvA^v 

,'' r ^-: ^ , *u" r a- , r y ^af^ K i .*,;,' 


painting at Bagh. 7th century A.D. 



does not seem to have had any active part 
in the founding of the religious monu- 
ments at Nagarjunakonda. They were 
mostly found( d by the queens and princes- 
ses of the royal family who were evidently 
devotees of the Buddhist faith. It would 
appear that there was freedom in those 
days for members even within the family 
to follow their own religious faith. 

There are two more inscriptions of Bud- 
dhistic inspiration to be referred to, both 
of the 2nd Cent. A. D. --the Dharanikota 
pillar ins. (El, XXXIV 256-260) and the 
Alluru ins. (P. 89 Early history of the 
Andhra Country by K. Gopalachari). The 
former records the erection of a Dharma- 
chakra dhwaja at the eastern gate of the 
Mahavihara at Dhanyakataka. The vihara 
is stated to have been in possession of the 
Purvagaillya school. The Purvagailiya and 
Aparagaillya are subsects of the Maha- 
samghika school. These and other Bud- 
dhist sects like Bahusuttlya (Bahusrutiya), 
Ayira-harhgha (Arya samgha), and Maha- 
sasaka (Mahi&saka) were also referred 
to in the Nagarjunakonda inscriptions. 
The Alluru grant mentions a number of 
gifts for the * Pubbaseliyas' (purvaSaillyas). 
The gifts comprise a vihara, land at various 
places, cows, bullock carts, servants and 
one thousand Purana-Kahapanas. 

After the Jksvakus Buddhism began 
to decline in the Andhra country. The 
Pallavas and other dynasties that ruled 
here were followers of Brahmanism. So 
the general theme of the inscriptions from 
now on is the grant of land to temples and 
Brahmans etc. rather than the founding 
of monuments to Buddha. 

The Pkt. inscriptions of the Pallavas are 
the following: (1) the Mayidavolu Plates 
of Yuvamaharaja Sivaskandavarman (El. 
VI. 84) states that the king granted to 
two Brahmins a village named Viripara 


which belonged to Andhrapatha (Amdha- 
pathlya gamo Viriparam ... sampadato). 
The date of the grant was the fifth tithi of 
the 6th fortnight of summer in the 10th 
year of the King. (2) The British Museum 
Plates of Carudevi (El. VIII-143), men- 
tions a gift of a field below the king's tank 
(Rajatalaka.) to be ploughed by Atuka to 
the God Narayana of the Kuli Maha- 
taraka temple at Dalura. (3) The Hira- 
hadagalli plates of Sivaskandavarman (El. 
I. 2). confirmed and enlarged in the 8th 
year of the King's reign a donation made 
formerly by the great king (probably by 
his father/ to certain Brahmins who resided 
at Apitti and were bhojakas of the village 
Chillareka kodumka.) The latter village 
was included in the Satavahani rattha. 

The Brhatpalayanas are known to his- 
tory from a single copper plate inscription- 
the Kondamudi plates (El. VI. 315) It 
states that King Jayavarman, from his 
camp, the town Kudura informs his exe- 
cutive officer at Kudura that he has 
granted the village Pamtura to eight 
Brahmins. The royal order was copied 
on the copper plates by a military officer 
on the first day of the first fortnight of 
the winter of the 10th year of the king's 

In this, and other inscriptions men- 
tioned above the name of the season and 
the number of the paksha in the season 
were generally given while referring 
to the date of the gift. But in the 
Ellora grant of Devavarman and in the 
Mattepad plates of Damodaravarman, the 
name of the month was given instead of 
the season, as found in all later inscrip- 
tions. The mention of seasonal pakshas 
may therefore be regarded as a sign of 
age. Sri M. Somasekhara Sarma points 
out that in the olden days they counted 
only three seasons grisrna, varsha and 

hemanta (Andhra deSa Charitra Chamgra- 
hamu P. 20). 

The Eluru grant belongs to the Salanka- 
yana king Devavarman, and mentions 
a gift of twenty nivartanas of land to a 
Brahmin, together with a site for his 
house and a site for that of his servants. 
The king was described as a worshipper 
of Chitrarathaswami. The Salankayanas 
were devotees of the Sun God. 

The Mattepad plates, issued from 
Kandarapura, the capital city of the 
Andhra kings, registers the grant of land 
to a number of Brahmins by King 
Damodaravarman who was described as a 
worshipper of the Buddha (Samyak Sam- 
buddha) and also one who performed 
gosahasra and hiranyagarbha danas. The 
other inscriptions of the Salankayanas 
and the Anandas are in Sanskrit. 

In the three inscriptions noted above, 
namely those belonging to the Brhatpala- 
yanas, Salankayana and Ananda kings, 
the influence of Sanskrit is visible. In 
the Kondamudi plates two Sanskrit words 
occur in the texts : MaheSvata and Brhat- 
palayana. At the end of the Eluru grant 
there are two imprecatory verses written 
in Sanskrit. Finally the Mattepad plates 
of Damodaravarman is in Sanskrit 
language mixed with Prakrit. The proper 
names of the donors of inscriptions and 
names of their gotras are given in Prakrit; 
besides some Prakrit forms like Sam- 
vaccharam, ajjassa etc. occur. This ins- 
cription clearly represents the transition 
from Prakrit to Sanskrit as the official 
language. From the 4th century onwards 
and during the 5th and 6th centuries 
Sanskrit is the only language that is found 
to have been used in the inscriptions. To 
this period belongs the dynasty of Visn- 


kundins. It was not until the beginning 
of the 7 th century that the Telugu 
language came into its own the Renati 
cholas and the Eastern Chalukyas share 
the credit for having first employed this 
language in their inscriptions. 


attet the 

by V. D. S. PRASAD 

J^ord Buddha was a spiritual figure, who its original nascent stage down to the 

surpassed all earthly limitations. The 
great message he delivered to the world 
holds for all times and all races From 

present age in all its minor transforma- 
tions it has incessantly sought to achieve 
the good of humanity. Lord Buddha's 
teachings began to spread to the four 
corners of the world even during his life 
time. Societies of mendicants were formed 
to spread the message. The great perse- 
verance and piety with which they served 
ailing humanity were something unique- 
The common people who loved and revered 
the mendicants gave them food and 
shelter; they were greatly attracted by 
the mendicants' way of life, who, for the 
sake of deliverance from worldly bonds, 
gave up all they had and embraced a life 
of absolute poverty and selfless service. 
Some of the householders became the 
followers of " Mani Tray a " and led a life 
of worship. Thus the followers of Buddha 
bound by a common aim, worked as a uni- 
ted community in a single minded fashion- 

Though this community was united du- 
ring the life time of the Buddha, yet short- 
ly after his passing away, differences of 
opinion and differences in religious pre- 
cepts invaded and divided the community. 
A century passed and later, these dif- 
ferences began to grow deeper and deeper. 

While it is true that Lord Buddha 
influenced a large segment of humanity 
during his life time with his teachings, it 
should however be admitted that people's 
interest in the precepts began to fade 
away soon after his death. There was 
nothing left to inspire them, nothing left 
to deepen their inner consciousness except 
the principles called 'Mani Traya ', and 

Buddha in Bronze. 5th century A.D. 
From Sultanganj. 

the precept that they should exhibit 
hospitality towards mendicants. As the 
common people were naturally not inte- 
rested in high flown philosophical dis- 
cussions, Buddhism gradually lost much 
of its attraction for the common folk. 
At this stage some of the followers of 
Buddha tried to reform Buddhism so as to 
attract the populace and make them claim 
it as something of their own. 

The Schism 

Reformists tried to popularise Bud. 
dhism by propagating the precept of self- 
less service to living beings by means of 
Jalakakathas and Avadnna Kathas. But 
the followers of the orthodox school of 
Buddhism argued that its rigorous disci- 
pline and its hard and fast rules should 
not be relaxed in anyway. They desired 
to lead a life of harsh discipline and 
unrelaxed vigilance. Those who were 
opposed to reform were called " Thenis", 
Sthaviras, or Sramanakas and the refor- 
mists were called Mahfisanghikas. 

There is a passage in Vinaya Pitaka, 
which says that " mendicants belonging 
to the Vijnana School desired that the 
ten rules and regulations concerning 
human conduct should be somewhat 
relaxed *'. Vasumitra wrote as follows : 
"Sthaviras hold th<at Arhatatva occupies a 
higher place whereas the followers of the 
Vijnana School were opposed to their 
view. According to the latter, Arhatatva 
is but a step towards the final stage. 
Arhatatva is desirable but it is not the 
ultimate aim ; Buddha tva is the highest 
stage in man's life and the seeker should 
always keep this supreme aim in view." 

The disputes and the quarrels that were 
continuously raging in this way among the 
different schools of thought served the 
purpose of rousing the interest of the 

common people. Men began to peek some- 
thing more satisfying and more dear 
to the heart than mere worshipping of 
mendicants and reciting word for word 
the precepts of Sarana trayam. They 
wanted to imbibe the religion completely 
and merge their whole being in it. The 
mendicants observed the new conscious- 
ness that was formulating itself in society 
and they decided that they should make 
Buddhism more dynamic and chiefly try to 
attract the householders and the common 
people. Thus in order to inspire the 
common people, the reformists created the 
literature of Jataka Kathas and Avadana 
Kathas. The great code of this moral 
rules was given much prominence and 
worshippers of Buddha were ordered to 
follow thorn. Not only householders but al- 
so every living creature can, if it so choose, 
follow these rules. When the living being 
dedicates itself completely to these rules 
and, without faltering, puts them in prac- 
tice then is it said to have reached the 
stage of "Buddha" 

The theories of Maha Sangha 

The theories of the School of Maha- 
sangha gradually evolved into a now 
pattern and led to the birth of Mahayana, 
They established the tradition of " Bodhi- 
satwa " with the aim of rousing a spirit of 
dedication among the common people. 

The living creature should make its 
consciousness grow into a fully developed 
stage. It should direct all its efforts to 
this end. It should offer its whole being 
in the service of other living beings and 
alleviate their sufferings and help them 
onward s;in their journey towards Nirvana. 
The living being who has in a series of 
births developed its consciousness in this 
way and is well versed in Paramitas be- 
comes a Bodhisatva. According to this 


Buddha in a goat- cart. A relief panel. 
The Goat.Cart in the symbol of the 
lesser vehicle (Hinayana) from 
Oandhara. 2nd to 4th century A. D, 


school householders are qualified equally 
with mendicants to become Bodhisatvas, 

The change which the theories of Maha 
Sanghika School underwent are mentioned 
in Kathavasthu and in the writings of 
Vasumitra. Briefly they are : Buddha : 
Buddhas are spiritual personalities who 
have freed themselves from all duties arid 
bonds, whose purity is not touched or 
soiled by any evil, who are long-lived, 
whose personality is infinite, who do not 
dream or sleep but are always immersed 
in Samadhi, who can make their appearance 
at one and the same time in all living 

Bodhisatvas : In their final birth, 
Bodhisatvas do not go through the usual 
process of birth as other living beings- 
They enter the maternal womb with a 
full knowledge of all their past births. 
Hatred and Desire are things foreign to 
them. They are born among the lowly 
and the last so that they might strive 
for the good of those around them. They 
achieve impossible things, perform mira- 
cles opposed to the laws of nature. 

Arhatatva : Unlike Buddha, Arhatas 
are only partially enlightened, They do 
not achieve complete harmony and are not 
fully freed from the bodies of ignorance. 

From the heights of Arhatatva, they 
may fall down into the state of Yanagami 
Sakad again i. However they won't slip 
down much further. During the evening 
of their lives they give away their riches 
to the poor, perform worship at sacred 
places like Caityas and achieve tranquility 
of mind. There are instances to .show 
that householders can achieve the state of 
Arhatatva even without obtaining initia- 
tion. It is mentioned that some living 
beings achieved this status even while they 
are in an undeveloped foetal stage. 

Simyata-Tathagata : There is a certain 
difference of opinion about this subject 
among the various classes of sadhakas 
such as Andhakas, Jitharahas and Dheras. 
But these differences appeared after the 
advent of Mahayana. The theories of 
Mahasangha gradually changed, and as- 
sumed the shape of Mahayana. One might 
even say that Mahayana was born out of 
the theories of Maha Sangha. 

The Two Schools 

Hlnayana and Mahayana : Thereupon 
Buddhism branched off into the schools 
called Mahayana and Hlnayana. There is 
no mention, however, of these yanas in 
the Pali Pitakas of old. Hlnayana has 
got many other alternative names, such 

King Suddhodana watching the archery contest. Prince Siddhartha is in the foreground Java 

Buddha from Bengal 

as Sravakayana, Pratyeka Buddha yana> 
while Mahayana is also known as Bud- 
dhayana, Tathagata yana and Bodhisatva 

The following conclusions can be drawn 
from the Mahayana scriptures about the 
origins of these two schools of Buddhism. 
The path which Buddha has pointed out 
for the common people who are not 
endowed with extraordinary talents is 

known as Hinayana This path is intended 
only for Sravakas. Mahayana is the path 
meant for great men who seek their own 
salvation as well as lead others to salva- 
tion. AH this means that Hinayana 
prepares Sadhakas for the Arhata stage 
whereas Mahayana prepares them for the 
Buddha Stage. Also this latter is the 
path by which Siddhartha achieved the 
supreme state of consciousness. Hinayana 
is therefore a somewhat inferior path to 
that of Mahayana. Asanga, in his Sutra- 
lankara detailed the differences between 
Mahayana and Hinayana as follows : 
Mahayanas do not desire to achieve salva- 
tion merely for themselves. The immediate 
aim is to lead others to salvation. It 
is only when this aim is achieved that 
they strive for their own salvation. 
Sravakayanas however seek firstly to 
achieve their own salvation and their 
effort is therefore not completely free 
from selfishness. This is the reason why 
it is termed Hinayana. The Mahayana 
scriptures gave a philosophical explanation 
of the aim of these two paths as follows :- 
There are two veils which have to be 
removed before one catches a glimpse 
of the ultimate truth. One is the veil of 
sorrow, the other is the veil of "objects 
of knowledge ". By following the rules 
and regulations of right conduct Hina- 
yanas can only remove the veil of sorrow 
But it is only when one can remove the 
veil of objects of knowledge that one can 
reach a state of ' cgolessness ', a state 
where no duties and laws bind the soul, 
where one can understand the unreality 
of worldly existence and discover the 
ultimate truth. Mahayanas can remove 
both these veils by means of their sadhana. 
And because this path is capable of lead- 
ing the aspirant to the ultimate truth, 
it is known as Mahayana. 

Seated Buddha. Sandstone. 5th Century. A.D. From Sarnath. India National Museum, New Delhi 

Amar avati 

It was chiefly Nagarjuna who developed 
the Mahayana school of thought into a 
mighty force. Great scholars and logicians 
like Aryadeva, Maitreyanatha and Asanga 
also helped to strengthen this school. 
They endowed a deeply philosophical out- 
look and content to Mahayana. The 
sacred scripture of Mahayana is called 


Prajna Paramita. Mahayanas claim that 
Buddha underwent a divine transforma- 
tion and achieved complete identity with 
God. Buddha is omnipresent, he is hidden 
in the heart of all living creatures and 
gives them the light of knowledge leading 
them all to further development. This 
theory is posited in the scripture called 
Karandava Vyuha. Buddhism was trans- 
formed into a religion of Bhakti in this 
way. Furthermore the Mahayanas attem- 
pted to give a definition of Nirvana. 
Though Buddha said that Nirvana was an 
ultimate aim of all living beings, he 
avoided giving a definition to this word. 
Like Buddha even the authors of the Upani- 
sads avoided giving definitions to words 
which convey such deep, divine experiences- 
"Deliverance from Existence, Non-Exis- 
tence and transcendence is Nirvana," 
thus defined Nagarjuna ; whereas Asva- 
ghosa said " Nirvana resembles the extin- 
guished state of a lamp/' 

M.'ihayana gradually became more and 
more powerful and exercised a remarkable 
influence over the masses. The Sthavira- 
vadas of Northern India also established 
a school but it had to bow down before 
the influence of Mahayana. 

Buddhism of the Asoka Period 

At this stage Emperor Asoka undertook 
the construction of $anti Caitya and with 
it began a new chapter in the history of 
Buddhism. There is no mention of the 
Bodhisatva traditions or the Paramitas in 
the edicts of ASoka. Also Buddha was 
not mentioned as one of the Gods. But 
the worship of Buddha was prevalent. 
Aoka was at that time undergoing a 
a mental conflict. The host of wild quali- 
ties such as jealousy, anger and laziness 
on the one hand, and distaste towards the 
worldly enjoyments on the other, were 
waging a terrible war against each other, 

each claiming sovereignty for itself. 
Aoka harmonised these two opposite 
tendencies in himself and followed a 
middle path. He was however more 
inclined to lead the life of a worshipper 
than to embrace the life of a mendicant. 
He discouraged mendicancy. With this a 
transformation was brought about in the 
outlook of the followers of Buddhism. 
A movement was even started in opposi- 
tion to Sanyasa. 

As a consequence of this movement, 
Buddhism which was isolated from the 
life of the masses again reached the people 
and spread fast among them. Self-sacri- 
fice took the place of blind rules and regu- 
lations of conduct. Faith and pk'ty began 
to take root in the hearts of the people. 
People began to build memorials, monu- 
ments and Buddha's images, each trying 
to overreach the other in friendly compe- 
tition. Even the layman gave his offerings 
and his salutations to the Lord and sought 
his blessings with a heart full of piety and 
prayer. While the mendicants were lead- 
ing a life of asceticism in the monasteries, 
the common man spent his time worshipp- 
ing Lord Buddha in his own simple way. 
In the view of the common people Buddha 
was not a mere saint. He was the living 
incarnation of God. They began to 
depict the stories of his previous lives 
in exceedingly beautiful forms of art. 
These stories were embodied in great 
structures of stone and other monuments. 
When one looks at these sculptures one is 
fascinated and a feeling of devotion over- 
whelms the heart. Buddhism, it may be 
said, was responsible for the emergence of 
great sculptors and artists. These great 
forms of art which were created by them 
are unequalled in their sublime beauty and 
deserve to be remembered for all time to 
come. Innumerable relics belonging to 

Amar avati 

this period, i.e the 2nd century B.C., have 
been excavated in the Andhra State. 

The Buddhism which spread among the 
masses during the reign of Asoka may be 
called Popular Buddhism. It is Mahay ana 
in its outw rd from, though it is essen- 
tially Hinayana in its inner content. 




This period in the history of Buddhism 
was a glorious one. The moral strength of 
the religion was its main prop. Hinayana 
as well as Mahayana laid great stress on 
moral principles. The practice of universal 
compassion and high moral virtues is the 
quintessence of this religion. But unfortu- 
nately with the passage of time even this 
pure and noble religion became blemished. 
After the first flush of enthusiasm passed 
away, people began to find the rules of 
conduct very hard to put into practice, 
and the theories about Bodhisatwa diffi- 

cult to understand. Moreover, Bodhi- 
satwa is a state which can be reached 
only after undergoing harsh discipline and 
severe austerities through a cycle of births. 
Enthusiasm began to wane. And there 
was no mighty personality at that time 
who could destroy the sloth that was engul- 
fing the people and restore Buddhism to 
its proper place. The scholar* were lead- 
ing an isolated life without having any 
contacts with the masses of the people. 

Asanga lived during the 3rd or 4th cent, 
ury B.C. Some scholars, however, place him 
in the 5th century B. C. Though Asanga 
was a great scholar well versed in the 
scriptures, he erred and deviated from the 
truth when he propounded theories connec- 
ted with the Tantric tradition as deriva- 
tives of Buddhism. Some maintain that 
the Tantric tradition got mixed up with 
Buddhism under the influence of Vajra 
Bhuti whereas, actually some references 
to these things are found among Sant 
Deva's writings themselves. From this, it 
has to be concluded that this interming- 
ling took place much prior to Santi Deva 
himself. With great scholarliness Asanga 
prepared commentaries for Mahayana Bud- 
dhism in which he inserted his new-fangled 
theories. Each teacher prepared a commeni- 
tary according to his own inclination and 
began to propagate his pet theories under 
the name of Mahayana. 

In this way many Van as were born out 
of Mahayana. 

Asanga's theories were later absorbed 
into Guhya Samaja Tantra. It is learnt 
that the origins of these theories are con- 
tained in ManjuSrfs Mulakalpa. This 
Kalpa is dated as belonging to the first 
or second century before Christ. 

It is said that the Tantras themselves 
belong to a very ancient period and some 
go to the extent of even classifying them 

Ananda attending the Parnirvana of the Buddha. Rock-cut; 
12th century A.D.; POLONNARUWA, Ceylon. 


as Yanas. The Tantric scriptures cannot 
however be dismissed lightly. Woodroff 
greatly praised the Tantric texts for 
their spiritual content. It is said they 
teach great spiritual teachings under the 
guise of a technical veil. They contain a 
deep inner spiritual meaning, outwardly 
conveying an altogether different technical 
sense. The inner meaning is admittedly 
the true meaning. When they are studied 
from the viewpoint of a saint, they yield 
great spiritual truths while ignoramuses 
and worldly-wise people can see nothing 
but immorality and evil precepts in them. 

Guhya Samaja Tantra 

Guhya Samaja Tantra pointed out a 
straight and easy path to reach the 
ultimate status, viz. Bodhisatva. This 
Tantra says that the pupil can reach 
Bodhitva even without giving up worldly 
enjoyments. Mere ascetic rigour does not 
help even slightly in the achievement of 
salvation. On the other hand it has been 
stressed that it is only by the full enjoy- 
ment of life and the complete satisfaction 
of desires that the aspirants can achieve 
salvation. It is also said that the concept 
of woman being an embodiment of 3akti 
was first introduced into Buddhism by 
scholars who took their cue from the 
Tantras. While Buddha taught that crue- 
lty to animals, the habit of taking meat 
and liquor were to be avoided, this Tantra 
gave its sanction, not only to meat-eating 
but man-eating too ! When one is a yogiri, 
one can sacrifice animals. One can even 
indulge in any kind of sensuous enjoyment. 
There is nothing wrong in the yogin 
seeking physical union, with any woman 
whether belonging to oneself or to others. 
This school taught Mantras, Mudras and 
Mandlas as well so as to decoy the common 
people into its fold. During this period 


another school called Maha Sukha Vada 
was started by Indra Bhupati who was 
then reigning in Utkala. A subsidiary 
branch called Vajrayana was also started 
by him. While keeping noble ideals and 
aims before the intelligentsia, this school 
chalked out a different path for the 
common people, tempting them with 
its immoral precepts and offering them 
worldly enjoyments as a means for sal- 
vation. Some details of its teachings 
are given below : 


The state of consciousness of a yogin 
who reaches Nirvana is called Bodhi 
Citta. Prom there the soul passes on to 
the upper worlds. In the Desire Worlds, 
Bodhisatva will not be free from desires. 
In the World of Form, Bodisatwa will be 
embodied in form. When a Buddha is 
born into the highest world among the 
worlds of form, he shines with an aura 
of dazzling beauty. Beyond this world, 
lies the peak of Sumeru. When Bodhi- 
chitta reaches this peak, the soul gets 
immersed in the Ultimate Void. In ano- 
ther context Mahasukhavada teaches that 
salvation can be only achieved by direct 
experience. Salvation is a natural and 
eternal state and not something extrane- 
ous. Enjoyment of worldy desires does 
not come in the way of reaching this 
state. According to this school, Man is 
a symbol of Bodhichitta and woman a 
symbol of the Ultimate Void. When 
Bodhichitta is finally immersed in the 
Ultimate Void, he enjoys Supreme Bliss 
which it is said, is equivalent to the 
bliss derived from the union between Man 
and Woman Though some scholars took 
this to be a mere simile, others thought 
that it hinted at something sensuous and 
freely pursued their own inclinations in the 

Mourners at the Parinirvana. A 
part of the Rock cut in the 26th 
cave. Ajanta. 5th century A. D. 


Jnana Siddhi 

Indra Bliuti wrote a scripture called 
Jnana Siddhi in which he proclaimed that 
knowledge is the only path which can lead 
the human soul to its destination. When 
one reaches the Siddha state one can 
transgress all rules and regulations of 
right conduct and yet be pure, untouched 
by any blemish. The scripture says : 

Karmana Kvavai Satwah Kalpakoti 


Pacyanti Narake Chore Tcna Yogi 


" Because Karma leads the soul into 
Hell, theyogin tries to avoid its bondage." 

This spiritual knowledge can be obtained 
by serving as a pupil to a properly quali- 
fied Guru and by following his teachings- 
The qualifications which the Guru ought 
to possess are also described in great 
detail by the scripture. This particular 
method of reaching the goal is known by 
the name of Vajrayana. Again there are 
five different offshoots of Vajrayana. 
The yogin who has digested these teachings 
should worship none other than himself, 
can eat any tiling he desires, and can 
physically unite with any woman belong- 
ing to any class or caste whatsoever. 
The scripture teaches "it is ehiefty the 
mind which should be protected from 
blemishes ", ; " Individual experience is 
the best". 

"Yathacittam Na Pradushyet, Tatha 
Karyam Sugobhanam 

Sway am Vedya Swabhavamyattatwar- 
atnamanuttaram '' 

Holding the view that the individual 
soul is an embodiment of the Godhead, 
this scripture protests against the practice 
of idol-worship. The prohibition of idoj 
worship seems to have been based upon 


The Vajrayana school came to be 
propagated under the name of " Rahasya 
Mantra " in Tibet. Gurupadma Sarhbhava 
carried the message of the Vajrayana 
School into Tibet where he established a 
monastery and became its head. He 
became its first Lama. He is the brother- 
in-law of Santi Rakshita. 


Laksmlkaradevi who ruled over Udya- 
nadea started the school of Vajrayana 
during about 720 A.D. Some say that 
she is -the sister of the founder of Vajra- 
yana and others say she is his daughter. 
The quintessence of the teachings of this 
school are : One need hot strive for any- 
thing, not even for the sake of salvation, 
there is no need to follow any regulations 
regarding food and drink. After the 
Sadhaka knows the truth, he can live as 
he pleases. This school of thought re- 
sembles Vajrayana closely. The latter 
also gave birth to another school called 
Kalachakra Yana. 


Prajnopaya JMis'caya Siddhi 

' Prajnopaya Niscaya Siddhi written 
by Ananga Vajra is ' one might say, a 
summary of Indrabhuti's Jiiana siddhi. 
Ananga Vajra belongs to the 10th century 
A. D. For some reason or other Ananga 
Vajra became converted from Buddhism 
bo Nadha Pantha. Nadha is a subdivision 
Df the Jaina Tantric school. There is not 
much difference between the principles of 
the Nadha Pantha school and those of 
l^ajrayana or Sahasrayana. It is stated 
3y this school of thought that one has to 
*orge one's path towards salvation by 
neans of intelligence and skill. Prajiia 
intelligence) and Upaya (skill) are the 
;wo primary means for salvation and 

what these two terms mean is defined 
clearly in the texts. No human being can 
achieve salvation without Prajna para- 
mitatva and this quality is found in an 
abundant measure in all women and hence 
sexual union without any discrimination 
between man and woman is inevitably a 
step towards salvation. But the essential 
condition for salvation must first be 
fulfilled. The disciple must have obtained 
initiation from a properly qualified Guru. 

Sambhogartha Midam Sarvam Tri 

Dhatuh Kama esatah 

Nirmitam Vajranadhena Sadhakanam 


This verse says that the whole world is 
meant for enjoyment by the sadhakas. 

Siddhartha in Harem. 

Holding one's self in a single minded 
concentration one should strive to reach 
the goal ; otherwise there is the risk of 
the aspirants falling down from the path* 

A Bird's-Eye View 

During the post-Buddha period the tan- 
trie theories gradually got intermixed with 
Buddhism and soiled the original purity of 
Buddha's teachings. Buddhism began to fall 
into disgrace and earned great obloquy. 
During the period when the new schools 
held their sway over the masses of the 
people, men lost their self control and 
licentious libertinism was the order of the 
day. It is because of the disgust which 
the malpractices of later day Buddhism 
engendered in the minds of the people 
that they ceased to respect it and again 
returned into the fold of Vodic and other 
religions. Buddhism which had been 
gradually becoming impotent owing to 
the admixture of Tantrism was severely 
criticised by KumSrila and Adi &ankara. 
The writers of Puranas did much propa- 
ganda against Buddhism in general, owing 
to their repugnance towards these later 
developments. The Pouranikas propa- 
gated the view that Vishnu who desired 
to bring about the downfall of the 
Rakshasas by ruining the character of 
their women folk was incarnated on earth 
as Buddha. Needless to say, it is a great 
sacrilege against Lord Buddha and his 
teachings. Though the writers of Pura- 
nas proclaimed that Buddha is an incar- 
nation of Vishnu, it is irreverent and 
malicious to say that his teachings were 
intended merely to disrupt the so-called 
Rakshasas. Were there any other religions 
besides Buddhism which deviated thus 
and digressed into crooked paths and evil 
ways or voluntarily embraced immorality 
as their cult ? Disgusting religious 


. practices such as Balapuja and Kumarl 
Puja are still extant even in our present 
day society. How was it that immorality 
pervaded almost all the religions after 
they passed their nascent stage ? Though 
the Tantric principles were expounded as 
early as the 3rd century A.D., it was only 
during the 7th century that they took 
root in the soil of India. Buddhism 
resisted the onslaught of Tantrism for 
a good length of time but finally had to 
bow down its head before the mighty 
onrush of its rival. During the 7th 
century 84 mendicants or Siddhas took up 
the task of propagating the theories and 
principles of Tantrism. They had an in- 
numberable repertoire of sweet songs, and 
attractive teachings. Under the influence 
of these Siddhas, Tantrism spread fast 
in all directions. Vajrayana was firmly 
established in Tibet and spread to Nepal. 
Tantric texts were translated into the 
Tibetan language. Some Tantric scrip- 
tures reached even China. One finds 
profuse translations from the Tantras in 
the Tripitakas of the Chinese? language. 

Sri Swami 3arikarananda argues that 
the Tantras existed from the age of the 
Sutras and that the original Tantras 
contained no note of immorality in them. 
Being afraid of the onslaughts of the 
Turanians, the ancients hid all tne wealth 
of their culture in the form of technical 
symbols such as Mudras. The essence of 
the Vedic tradition was preserved intact, 
only the outer form had been changed : 
so says the Swami. He also explained in 
detail what these technical symbols 
stand for and their inner meanings. The 
new deviations were known by the name 
of Vamacharas even in the older Tantric 
texts. Perhaps there had been derivative 
deviations at a later stage from the 
original Tantric philosophy. There is a 

close similarity between the conditions 
which existed on the eve of the advent of 
the Tantric philosophy and those of the 
age when Buddhism deviated into diverse 
crooked paths under the inyuence of the 
Tantric traditions. Whereas there were 
only the Turanian newcomers in the coun- 
try during the nascent stage of Tantrism, 
many other foreign communities such as 
Yavanas, Sakas, Kushans, Huna sexercised 
a great influence at the time when Bud- 
dhism was putting forth its new offshoots. 
These foreign communities were unac- 
quainted with the true cultural traditions 
of the country. They were supercilious 
and held the indigenous cujture and civili- 
zation in great contempt. They were more 
inclined towards a life of enjoyment and 
the satiation of desires than towards a 
life of high moral integrity and spiritual 
seeking. It is only natural to expect 
that they would be repelled by such 
religions as original Buddhism. However 
society had to find out ways and means 

of absorbing the newcomers into its fold. 
It was a great problem for which the 
religious leaders of the time had to find 
an immediate solution. From what is 
mentioned above about the conditions 
then obtaining in the country, it may be 
presumed that in order to achieve the 
assimilation of the foreign communities, 
the religious teachers harmonised the 
native spiritual inclinations of our own 
people with the more mundane desires of 
the newcomers in the country and that 
the Vamacharas were born out of this 
attempt at; harmonisation, Also it may 
be supposed that the writers of Tantric 
scriptures wanted to preserve the real 
spiritual significance under a cover of 
technical symbols conveying outwardly at 
the same time a superficial meaning which 
would satisfy the mundane longings of the 
foreign communites in the country and 
thus save the religion from complete 

Relief Panel depicting Indra's Visit to. the Buddha. 
Red ochre from Mathura, 2nd century A. D. 

( T)ivim Love of 



"Wise dicta, illumining the path of truth, 
serve as bright lights in the gloomy walks of 
ignorant worldly life ; this is why even men 
of realization love them for their utility in 
judicious dealings." 

A vculanakalpalathfa 

T ord Buddha who, in his magnanimity 
looked upon the entire universe as his 
own family and exerted himself with 
limitless love for the common weal, by 
propounding the principles of truth and 
non-violence, peace and happiness not 
only for mankind but for the entire world 
of creatures is to be adored by Indians, 
as well as non-Indians, by every being of 
the world. His teachings have revitalised 
humanity at large. 

When we realize the significance of truth 
and non-violence as taught by him, act up 
to the ideals of kindness, humanitarianism 
and co-operation and thereby dispel the 
forces of violence, wickedness and cruelty, 
.. the people of the world will then achieve 
peace and happiness. Besides his teaching 
his exemplary deeds will guide us along 
the right path. 

Several pieces of art and architectur 
carved out of mountain rocks and explain- 
ing the Buddha's teachings on Dharma 


i,e. virtuous conduct, are now being un- 
earthed from the ruins of various ancient 
Buddhistic monuments in Andhradesa. 
The sculptors of old had depicted the 
inspiring anecdotes of the Buddha's life, 
full of pathos and beatitude, and thus 
enabled later generations to visualise the 
great one's sense of sacrifice. 
,. Old age, death and disease have been 
V tormenting man from time immemorial. 
Man's struggle to overcome these has 
been a long and continuous one. But yet, 
no one has released himself from these 
terrible ills. To add to this trouble nowa- 
days, the world situation shows that evil 
forces like psychological maladies, which 
aggravate the existing trouble, are on the 
increase. A radical cure for the psycho- 
logical maladies of Man is, in fact, essen- 
tial if Man is to be free from disease, 
physical and mental, to enjoy sound health 
and achieve longevity and if the world is 
to secure real progress and prosperity- 
Now for getting over these psychological 
ills i.e. hatred and malice engendered by 
the impure qualities, Rajas and Tamas, 
Man has to discover the proper means 
and excute them, listen to the wise dicta* 
follow the footsteps of I he enlightened 
seers and strive to develop in himself the 
fundamental virtues of humanism, good 
neighbourliness, truth, peace and non- 

Let one comprehend how Lord Buddha 
preached Dharma as the sole basis for 

the welfare of the universe, and how he 
practised unstinted self-sacrifice then one 
is sure to get his heart purified, even if 
one might have been the worst malanth- 
ropist and shall henceforth be induced 
to follow the Buddha's way of life in 
all humility and attain real peace and 

It takes time for the common man to 
know the Eternal and Absolute Reality. 
Sometimes it may be necessary to clothe 
the explanations of that Reality in terms 
of the traditional and technical modes of 
thought so as to enable certain men of 
even advanced intellect to take to the 
light kindly. 

On closely studying the Jatakakathas 
of Lord Buddha and on seeing repeatedly 
their artistic representation in Buddhistic 
sculpture, it strikes an observant mind 
how the meaning of certain technical 
prescriptions regarding the subtleties of 
Dharma, as laid down in our ancient 
treatises on medicine, is brought out in 
these monuments. It becomes possible, 
from a contemplation of this aspect, for 
the man of scientific research, to find out 
by persistent introspection why certain 
subtle prescriptions are often of no avail 
either in relieving the patient or in satis- 
fying the physician. 

Plastic surgery and Blood Banks mark 
the high level of development achieved by 
today's surgeons and physicians.- We 
ought to be proud of the way in which 
these medical advances rescue patients 
in distress. But it may, however, be 
observed that all this activity is to-day 
carried out in a routine, material, and 
mechanical way rather than as an outcome 
of the highest virtue and sacrifice with 
the inspiration of a psychical and spiritual 
vision in the background. Instead of 
establishing between donor and the benefi- 
ciary a deep moral relationship based on 
the spirit of non-violence which springs 

Limestone dab from Am-aravathi Stupa. 2nd century 

A.D. Prince, Siddhdrtha riding away from Kapila- 

vastu. Prince Siddhartha on the throne with the 

Kantaka biside him. 

forth from the pure quality of Satvva, all 
these formal donations of to-day are sorne- 
Ii9\v failing to produce perfect results, in 
spite of the most efficient handling. 

It occurs to me that the Buddhistic 
stories such as (i) Sibi Subhashita Nada- 
nakanha narrated in Kshemendra's Bodhi 
Satwavadana Kalpalata, (ii) Sarwam 
Dadavadanakatha and Kapothajatakatha 
depicted in the sculptures of Nagarjuna- 
konda, help us to grasp the subtleties of 
the practice of nun-violenee and the intri- 
cacies of the Sacrifice-Therapy of advanced 
medical technique. 

The following is narrated in a sermon 
expounded by a Buddhist monk in Kusa- 
puri, which was an abode of Mallajanas 
(gymnasts) : Lord Buddha was unra- 
velling the story of a previous birth of his 
for the edification of a group of monks. 
He narrated how King Sibi, ruling the town 
Sivathathi, was so kind and virtuous that 
his kingdom seemed a paradise on earth. 
Indra, the king of the Gods, wishing to 
test King Sibi's qualities, appeared before 
the king as a rakshasa and mockingly 
remarked that after all, Sibi's deeds were 
"transient like streaks of lightning. The 
fastest bonds of Love will fail at the time 
of deluge." The king, impressed, requested 
him to continue his discourse. And the 
rakshasa replied : " king ! What is the 
use of piling up precepts without practice. 
I am at present very hungry and thirsty. 


East gate Sanchi. 

My stomach is burning with hunger and 
my tongue dry with thirst. I do not wish 
to be your preceptor and receive honours. 
I want to appease my hunger and thirst. 
In my pain, I can give you no words of 
wisdom. You cannot understand my 
distress. The sweetest words of wisdom 
cannot assuage the misery of mankind. 
Wise words are only for the complacent. 
The joy of music or poetry is momentary 
and once rendered, loses its value. You 
can cross a river just as far as you can 
swim, but what about the long span 
thereafter. I can relish now only your 
blood and flesh. These are, however, 
impossible to get as you are wedded to 
the doctrine of non-violence. Let me ap- 
proach someone "else who is not bound by 
this vow. Sport and song can be indulged 
in by equals and not between you and me, 
whose natural propensities for food or 
revelry are diametrically opposite." 

But the king courteously answered, " I 

1am prepared to give you my blood and 
flesh. Accept them and grant me Nirvana. 
I am beholden to you for your words of 

And the demon at once said, " That is 
it, wise one, listen to my teachings and 
fulfil your promise quickly." 

The king calmly cut out a piece of his 
flesh and offered it to the demon along 
with the blood. Not a shadow of pain 
passed across his face as he did so. Sur- 
prised, Indra, who was still in the shape 
of the monster, asked "Don't you feel, 
king, any pain ? " The king replied, "My 
body can feel no torment, so long as it 
serves other beings. I feel not in the 
least distressed in the act of sacrifice 
undertaken for attaining Truth based on 
the spirit of non-violence and rooted in the 
quality of Satwa (Nobility). Thus my body 
remains unscathed and sound as ever." 

The fraternity of monks, who listened 
to this revelation of the Tathagaha, were 
struck with wonder at the tale. 

Wise words radiate light on our journey 
towards material and spiritual felicity. 
Their nectar-like wisdom in such conversa- 
tions, take the listeners to the dizzy 
heights of exhilaration. Even persons of 
all-round perfection, listening to wise 
words, derive immense pleasure. 

The foregoing story points out not only 
the nobility of a life of dedication, but to 
the essential need and the special signifi- 
cance of personal suffering in the service 
of others, as also the highest Dharma of 

Such suffering will be .effective only 
when transacted between persons of 
equally noble and virtuous habits of spiri- 
tual food, feeling and faith. Sacrifices 
from a wicked votary of violence is at the 
outset impossible, and oven if it be possi- 
ble under certain circumstances, the act 
will not produce the desired effect on the 
patient. On the other hand, such a tran- 
saction between those unequal in tempera- 
ment and with different scales of values 
may result in something quite opposite 
and complicate the issue. The dictum of 
medical science is applicable here. I stress 
here that not only the physical properties 
of the flesh and blood donated should be 
compatible with those of the receiver, but 
even the psychical qualities of both of 
them should be similar. 

Maharshi Charaka has stated thus : 
" Among the things which support and 

develop life, non-violence is the most 
supreme according to the science of ayur- 
veda. Food is no doubt essential for life 
but more so is non-violence for through it 
dharma is created which helps in building 
up life and longevity. This spirit of non- 
violence, proceeding as it does from a 
sweet, loving nature, and out of an inca- 
pacity to countenance the distress of 
others, can surely sustain life itself and 
even render the individual practising it 
immune to the pains of sacrifice. The 
fact is that when a pure soul is motivated 
by love sublime, his very material encase- 
ment, consisting of the seven dhatus such 
as skin and flesh, gets saturated with that 
love and can react readily and in conso- 
nance with the high ideals of truth and 
benevolence. Only those who know this 
secret can realise the true significance of 
non-violence, while for others non-violence 
remains a figment of fancy. 

Lord Buddha, to his very innermost 
depths, was made up of love and thus it 
was that even wild beasts would acknow- 
ledge his greatness and submit to him 
did not Nalagiri prostrate itself before 
him ? 

Human beings however, in their malice 
and hatred, find themselves unable to 
discard these evils, get diseased, fall a 
prey to troubles and tribulations of vari- 
ous kinds and succumb to misery. 
May the glorious Light of Wisdom 
{imparted by Lord Buddha arouse and 
\\iwakcn us > poor human entities on this 




l/^ nlinga Desa embraced Buddhism several 
thousands of years ago and followed 
its tenets zealously. In many of the 
Buddhistic works, there is a reference to 
Kalinga Desa. '* Deegha J ', " Majghiya " 
' gamyutta,' ' Anguthara,' ' Khuddaka,' 
are the chapters in Suttapitaka. In 
' Deegha ' chapter, mention was made 
about the garden of Kalinga and Danta- 
pura, its capital. It is evident from the 
Buddhistic stories that are handed down 
from generation to generation that Dan- 
tapura is one of the old cities of India. 
In " Maha Govinda Suttanta ", it is stated 
that Dantapura was one of the six cities 
that were laid out by Maha Covinda. The 
following is the relevant text from the 

Dantapuram Kalinganam Assakanamca 


MahissatI Avantlnam Sovirananca 


Mithilaca Videhanam Campa Angesu 


Baranaslca Kaslnamete Govinda Mapita. 

The same verse is found in Mahavastu. 
Though this work relates to the school of 
Lokottara vilda, nominally, to this day, 
it is treated as a Hinayana work. This is 
the biography of the Buddha where you 
find accounts of several miracles per- 
formed by him. Most of the references to 
the miracles performed and incidents 
narrated in this work relate to Dantapura. 
" Kalinga Bodhi ", " Ksullaka linga ", 
" Kumbhakara " " Kuru Dhamma "all 


the above Jataka stories relate to Kalinga 
Desa. The stories mentioned above com- 
mence with the sentence, " When Kalinga 
the king was reigning from Danta- 
pura, the capital of Kalinga Desa etc. 

In Jairi literature also there is a refe- 
rence to Dantapura. This is the capital 
of Dantavaktra, a noted Ksatriya. There 
is an interesting story about this king. 
His wife during her confinement, requested 
the king, her husband, to get a town 
constructed in ivory for her. In order to 
fulfill the desire of the queen, the king 
ordered his officials to gather all the ivory 
available in his kingdom. Unfortunately, 
there was a merchant Dhana Mitra, whose 
pregnant wife also presented a similar 
request to her husband. Dhana Mitra, 
with the assistance of his friend Drdha 
Mitra, wanted to carry out the wishes of 
his wife. Defying the dictates of the king, 
both the friends gathered the ivory that 
came their way. The King, getting angry, 
sentenced Dhana Mitra to death. At the 
scaffold, Drdha Mitra volunteered to die 
for Dhana Mitra. But the latter protested. 
The King, Dantavaktra, was amazed at 
the bonds of friendship that existed bet- 
ween the two and changed his mind and 
ordered their release. 

In the Mahabhfirata also, there is a 
reference to Dantavaktra. But he is the 
King of " Karusa ". " Karusa " lies to the 
south of Kal and Vatsa areas and bet- 
ween Cedi and Maghada. In Harivamsa, 
there is a constant reference to Kalinga 

Bddhisattva and Monks. Detail 
from a Scroll Painting on Silk. 10th 
Century A. D. From Tun-Huang, 
China. (British Museum, London.) 



and to the King of Karusa. Dantavaktra 
was an inveterate enemy of Krsna and 
Krsna killed him in the end. Probably for 
this very reason, in the South Indian 
editions of the Mahabharata, it is stated 
that Krsna destroyed the Kalinas and 
Dantavaktra. From the Bhagavatam, it 
is evident that Dantavaktra was the king 
of Kalinga. According to the slokas in 
Udyogaparva of the Mahabharata, Danta- 
kura was the capital of Kalinga. It is 
probable that Dantakura and Dantapura 
are one and the same. From this, we 
conclude that Dantapura was in existence 
prior to the Buddhistic period i e. from 
the era of the Mahabharata. 

A certain amount of difference of 
opinion exists amongst research scholars 
regarding the location of Dantapura. 
Some of them contend that this is Kalinga- 
patnam of the present (Jan jam District. 
Some others, who belong to the old school 
of thought, believe that Puri Jagannath 
is Dantapura. Even this does not appear 
to be correct. The present-day research 
scholars of Kalinga Province point out 
that Dantavarapukota, a ruined place 
within a distance of ten miles from Srika- 
kulain Railway Station, is the old Danta- 
pura. Today, this is a high mound. At 
present, Dantavarapukota is also called * 
Duntavaktrunikota. In the old edicts of \ 
of the Kings of the Kalinga Ganga 
dynasty, it is stated that Dantapura was 
the capital of the kingdom of the Ganga 
dynasty. We cannot definitely state that 
this Dantapura and the one referred to in 
Buddhistic stories are one and the same. 
But one need not hesitate to state that 
Dantapura, an old town, was the capital 
of Kalinga. As reference to the town is 
made in the Jataka stories which relate 
the births of Buddha, it may be said that 


this Dantapura was a city of the pre- 
Buddhistic era. 

There is a close relationship between 
the city of Dantapura and a story relating 
to the Tooth of the Buddha. Some may 
presume that this town derived its name 
from the Tooth of the Buddha. But no 
such conclusion is warranted as this town 
flourished even in the pre- Buddhistic era. 

"Dalada Vasa" and " Dattha Dhatu 
Vamsa " are the important works which 
refer to the story of the Tooth of the 
Buddha. The latter is the Pali transla- 
tion of the former written in " Klu n 
language of the Ceylonese. Nobody is 
aware of the name of the author of 
Dalada Vamsa. Oriental research scholars 
fixed the period of the work to be some- 
where about 310 A D. This was trans- 
lated into Pali in the 13th century A. D. 
under the caption of " Dfittha Dhatu 
Vamsa " by Dhamma Kitti Thera. This is 
one of the ancient histories of Ceylon ; the 
others are Mahavainsa and Deepa Vamsa. 
Dattha Dhatu Vamsa is otherwise known 
as Danta Dhatu Vamsa. This gives the 
history of the Tooth of the Buddha. 

So far as it is relevant, the history of 
Danta Dhatu is given below. The Buddha 
attained Nirvana at ' Upavattana " near 
Kusimira in Mallarajya on Vaisakha 
Poor n i ma Day. After the cremation of 
tho Buddha, there was heavy rain. The 
ashes were washed away by the rain 
water and only seven of the Buddha's 
physical remains, viz. the skull, two 
Aksaka Dhatus and four dental Dhatus 
were left. Eight kings quarrelled among 
themselves for them. A Brahmin by 
name Drona divided the relics into eight 
parts and distributed it among the kings. 
A sage by name " Kheina " removed the 
left canine tooth from the ashes of the 
Buddha and presented it to King Brahma 

Penitent Buddha 2nd to 4th century A.D. From Oandhara. 


Datta, who was ruling Kalinga with 
Dantapura as the capital. The king 
placed it in a golden casket studded 
with emeralds and worshipped it day 
and night till his death. Sometime after- 
wards, Guhaslva, who was born in that 
dynasty, became the king of Kalinga. 
In the early days, he was a Jain. But 
having seen the miracles of the Tooth of 
the Buddha, he changed his faith to Bud- 
hism and began worshipping the Tooth. 
After conversion, the king expelled from 
the kingdom all non-Buddhists. These 
sought refuge in Pataliputra. They did 
not stop there. They spread scandal 
about Guhaslva. Extraordinary things 
about the Tooth were told to the King of 
Pataliputra. Finally, the refugees insti- 
gated the King to invade Kalinga Desa. 
The King ordered Cittayana to produce 
Guhaslva before him along with the Tooth 
of the Buddha. Cittayana informed the 
King of Kalinga of his mission. The King 
after narrating some of the miracles, 
performed a few in his presence. The 
result was that Cittayana embraced Bud- 
dhism. Accompanied by Guhaslva along 
with the Tooth, Cittayana returned to 
Pataliputra. The King of Pataliputra 
kept the tooth in his custody for seve- 
ral days as he was instigated to do so 
by the non-Buddhists. When he was 
convinced of its greatness, he embraced 
Buddhism and began worshipping the 
Tooth. Guhaslva also stayed there for 
some time. It so happened that a king 
named Kheera Dhara invaded Pataliputra. 
King Pandu of Pataliputra killed him in a 
fierce battle. After peace was restored in 
his kingdom, the king, with all the honours 
befitting the occasion, bid farewell to Guha- 
slva and the Tooth. The stories of the 
miracles spread far and wide. The Prince 
of Ujjain visited Kalinga to worship the 


Tooth. King Guhaslva welcomed him 
with princely honours. After noticing 
his good qualities, the king married his 
daughter Hemalata to the Prince. 

After this the sons and nephews of the 
deceased King Kheera Dhara, with the 
intention of removing the Tooth of the 
Buddha from the custody of Guhaslva 
invaded the Kalinga kingdom. They de- 
manded the surrender of the Tooth or, in 
the alternative, threatened him with 
war. King Guhaslva decided not to part 
with the Tooth as long as he lived. He 
told his son-in-law, that in the event of 
his death on the battle field, the son-in-law 
should flee with the Tooth, disguised as a 
Brahmin, to Ceylon and present it to the 
King Mahasena, his friend. As was ex- 
pected, the King died in the battle. 

Immediately after the bad news was 
received, the Prince and his wife, disguised 
as Brahmins, proceeded southwards with 
the Tooth of the Buddha. They were able 
to cross the flooded Mahandi with the 
superhuman assistance of the Tooth. They 
placed it in a sand hill and moved about 
the town in disguise They would return to 
the sand heap to worship the Tooth and 
replace it in concealment after their devo- 
tions. They kept guard over the Tooth, 
hiding in a hush. Then a Thera, who was 
going along in the sky, noticing the glow 
that was emanating from the sand heap, 
descended and worhipped the Tooth. See- 
ing this, the couple explained to him their 
difficulties. He exhorted them to remove 
the relic to Ceylon despite the troubles 
they might undergo on their journey. 
Afterwards, a serpent King, by name 
Pandubhftra, came to the river from his 
town. There he happened to see the 
Tooth. With the aid of occult powers, 
he swallowed the tooth along with the 
casket. Danta Kumara and Hemamala, 

the Prince and his wife, prayed to Thera. 
He returned and on learning what had 
happened, turned himself into an eagle. 
He then caught hold of the serpent king, 
took back the sacred Tooth and returned 
it to the couple. The two straightaway 
proceeded to Jambalitti port and embar- 
ked on a ship which was to leave for 
Ceylon. The serpent king tried his level 
best to get back the tooth, but the couple 
were able to foil these attempts with the 
help of Thera. At last, they reached 

Thus far only the story is relevant for 
our present consideration. Tambalitti, 
the port where the couple embarked, 
according to research scholars is Tamra- 
lipti, the present-day Tamluk. This is 
north of Kalinga Desa and is in Midnapur 
district. But it may be noticed from the 
story narrated above that Hemamala and 
Danta Kumara came southwards and 
crossed a river and that they then procee- 
ded to Tambalitti en route to Ceylon. 
Therefore, it cannot be that Tambalitti 
and Tamralipti are one and the same. In 
the English translation rendered by George 
Turner, this has been mentioned as Tala- 
mita, probably from another edition of 
Dattha Dhfitu Vamsa. This port, Tala- 
mita, must have been at the confluence 
of the river and the sea. This must be a 
port in the Godavary and Krsna districts. 
The river they crossed was either the 
Godavary or the Krsna. 

This story of the Tooth of the Buddha 
is found not only in Ceylon and Ceyloriese 
Literature, but also in the Syama Hera 
Buddhistic Literature. In the Siamese 
Buddhist works, there is a book named 
Phra Pat 'horn which is the Siamese trans- 
lation of a Bali work, written in Pali. 
This contains several things pertaining to 
Siamese Buddhism. Therein, the story 
relating the Tooth of the Buddha is found. 
The Siamese believe that the entire story 

took place in their country. Wo do not 
find the name of Kalinga. Dantapura is 
named Tontapatri, Dantakumara becomes 
Jantakumar and Hemamala is Hema- 
chala. According to the Siamese story 
there was a king ruling Dantapura named 
"Singhara". There was a Caitya contain- 
ing the Tooth in the Kingdom. For the 
sake of it several wars were waged. The 
story is similar to the one already narrated, 
except for changes in the names of the 
kings who tried to get possession of the 
Tooth and other slight differences here 
and there. Dantakumara is the son of a 
Sinhala king and Hemachala is the sister 
of Dantakumara. Their escape with the 
Tooth is also described. Soon after they 
heard the sad news of their father's 
death Dantakumara and Hemachala, dis- 


Eastern Gate of the Great Stiipa Sdnchi. 

r . 

guised as farmers, concealed the Tooth in 
their dress, and proceeded towards the 
coast. There they embarked on the vessel 
for Ceylon. - The name of the port is not 
mentioned. After they had travelled for 
three months, the whip was caught in a 
fierce storm and broken to pieces. All 
but the brother and sister were drowned. 
Somehow, keeping afloat with the help 
of coconut planks, they reached Diamond 
Sands along with the Tooth. They con- 
cealed the Tooth in the sand and stayed 
there for three days in hiding. 

At the time when the ship was caught 
in the storm, a sage by name " Baromma 
Thet Thero ", living on the Assakano hills 
in the lower regions of the Meru Moun- 

Buddha. Bronze statue from Dhanesar Khera, 
U.P. Gupta 4th5th century A.D. 

tains, while moving in the sky with the 
help of superhuman powers attained by 
him, happened to notice the light that was 
emanating from the Tooth. Attracted by 
that, he descended and called on the 
brother and sister to come out. They 
narrated their sorrowful tale to the sage. 
When he heard it, he went to the serpent 
kingdom. But the king was not to be 
seen. Thero coerced the people to produce 
their king. The reason for the above 
appears to be this. The serpent king 
might have robbed the tooth without the 
knowledge of the brother and sister. Thero 
did not spare the serpent king till he 
surrendered the Tooth. After obtaining 
it, he returned to Diamond Sands. The 
tooth was handed over to the rightful 
owners. The sage asked them to proceed 
on their journey by ship and in the mean- 
while to call for his help in case of danger. 
As indicated by the sage, the ship came 
and the party got into it. A few days 
later, the serpent king once again tried to 
rob the tooth. This time, he started a 
storm and the captain appealed to the 
Gods for help. But the storm did not 
abate. The reason for the continuance of 
the storm in spite of the appeal to the 
Gods was attributed to the presence of 
the brother and sister. The captain direc- 
ted them to be thrown into the sea. Then 
the unfortunate pair appealed to Thero. 
He appeared in the shape of an eagle and 
dispelled the Maya raised by the serpent 
king. The captain and his mates wor- 
shipped Thero. In course of time, the 
ship reached Ceylon. 

Comparing Dattha Dhatu Vamsa and 
the Siamese text, you find more incidents 
in the latter one. The journey of Danta- 
kumara and Hemamala to the south, the 
shipwreck near Diamand Sands, reaching 
the shore all these are common to both 
texts. The Diamond Sands are near Amara- 
vati on the banks of the Krsna. From time 
immemorial Gani Atukur, in Krsna Dis- 

trict, which is opposite Amaravati, was 
noted for diamonds.* This was the reason 
why the Nizam of Hyderabad excluded 
Gam Atukur at the time of handing over 
the Circars to the East India Company. 
He kept it under his control as he expected 
very high returns. It is stated that it 
was not only Gani Atukur area on the 
northern bank of the Krsna that was 
noted for diamonds, but Amaravati on 
the southern bank also. This is the reason 
why it is called Diamond Sands. In 
Sattenapalli Taluk of Guntur District, a 
certain area along the river is called 
Vairam Dinne to this day. The Diamond 
Sands mentioned in the Siamese story is 
nothing but this Vairam Dinne. The word 
Vairam is equivalent to Vajra. Even now 
it is likely that if the area is excavated, 
some very interesting details of Buddhism 
will be discovered. 

It may be questioned why Dantakumara 
and Hemamala came to River Krsna. In 
ages gone by, there was sea trade between 
Kalinga and Ceylon. Similarly from the 
edicts of Iksvaku kings found in Nagar- 
juna hills, it is evident that Buddhistic 
monks were travelling between the Krsna 
valley and Ceylon. According to research 
scholars, the journey of the brother and 
sister took place in the 1st century A.D. 
The archaeologists state that in that 
period, ships were going up the river up to 
Nagarjunakonda. It is likely that a cargo 
vessel scheduled for Ceylon might have 
called at Nagarjunakonda either for load- 
ing and unloading or for leaving the pas- 
sengers in Nagarjunakonda. The wreck 
might have taken place on the river or at 
the mouth of it and the brother and sister 
somehow reached Vajrala Dinne. Anyway 


it appears that the two reached Vajrala 

It is stated that Nagaraja, the serpent 
king, came to Diamond Sands. The entire 
area formed part of the Naga kingdom. 
In Chinese works it is stated that Nagar- 
juna brought ' dharanis ' from Nagaloka 
and planted* them in the Caitya at 
Sudhanya Kata. The Nagas were one of 
the earliest sects who embraced Buddhism. 
In Anclhra, worship of the Naga is quite 
common. There is a word in Telugu 
" Naga Vasamu". Probably this might 
have come from the Nagas ! In Andlira, 
Naga Pratishta also is common. It is 
possible that the N?lga tribe was one of 
the tribes living in the Krnna valley. 
Nagarjunakonda edicts of the Iksvaku era 
confirm this view. 

According to the Sinhalese version, 
though it is not stated that they embar- 
ked on the ship, it is recorded that they 
proceeded southwards and that they cros- 
sed a river in flood and that they deposited 
the Tooth in sand. The river referred to 
in this is the Krsna. It can be taken 
that Dantakumara and Hemamala embar- 

* Col. Mackenzie camo to Guntur District at first in tho days of tho rule of the East India Co. 
solely with the aim of prospecting for diamonds. He indicated on the map a diamond ore area, 
extending upto oight miles north of Amaravati, 


ked at Talamita for the second time. 
Whether Talamita is on Talaga dlvi on the 
banks of the Krsna or not has to be 
decided after further research. Though 
the two stories appear to be different, on 
closer scrutiny, the stories appear to be 
similar with very slight differences. 

The shipwreck at Diamond Sands is not 
found in the Ceylonese story. But it is 
strange to find it in the far-off Siamese 
lore. That does not mean that the story 
narrated in Siamese literatue is not true. 
The Siamese text has its original in a Pali 
text of Bali island. Bali is near Java. 
In the first century A.D., there was traffic 
between Kalinga and Java. According to 
the stories that are current in Java, it 
appears that 20,000 people from Kalinga 
left for Java. These Kalingas might have 
taken this story to Java. This was re- 
duced to writing in Pali on Bali island. 
As there was a good amount of traffic 
between Bali and Siam, the story might 

have travelled to Siam. That is the reason 
why these details, which are not found in 
the Ceylonese text are mentioned there. 

Apart from that, some historians ob- 
serve that some Telugu people from 
Telangana went to Burma in the 1st 
century A.D. and settled there. These in 
turn appear to have travelled to Siam. 
Some of them might have shared their 
origin in Telangana. Dr. Kalidas Nag 
states that these people might have in the 
first instance settled in Lower Burma and 
later migrated to Siam. The Manu family 
is considered to be a noted one of Telan- 
gana. This is evident from the oldest 
scriptures. Veerabalanjas and Reddies 
belong to the Manu caste. As Nag puts 
it, the Mons in Burma and Siam might be 
the people who migrated from Telangana. 
It is probable that they might have car- 
ried the story to Siam. It is possible 
that the story of the shipwreck at 
Diamond Sands might have been taken to 
the Siamese people by these people. 

Vesmntara JataJca. Prince Vessantara is shown riding in a bullock-cart 
wife and children to his exile. 

Jaggayyapeta .... 

The Ancient Buddhist Pilgrim Centre 

The Vellagiri of yore is today's Jaggay- 

About 180 years ago, the region sur- 
rounding Jaggayyapeta was governed by 
a ruler of the Kamma caste, by name Sri 
Rajah Vasireddi Venkatadri Nayudu, who 
was famous for his piety and devotion 
and for the construction of many a temple 
in honour of Lord Siva tuid Lord Visnu. 
The temple of Amareswara at Amaravati 
and the Gopura at Mangalagiri, which 
rivals the one at Kanchi, are some of the 
noble constructions for which he was res- 
ponsible. Apart from these, it is said 
that he founded two towns, namely, 
Jaggayyapeta, named after his father, and 
Acchammapeta, named after his mother. 
The founding of the towns by Venkatadri 
Nayudu find mention in a Telugu verse of 
a certain well-known poet, too. 

But from the old records of the Govern- 
ment, we get the information that, even 
prior to the founding of the towns by 
Venkatadii Nayudu, there existed on this 
site a village named Betavolu and that 
the Rajah developed it into a town and 
changed the name to Jaggayyapeta. The 
region was then infested with robbers and 
hence the old village was called Donga 
Betavolu J (Robbers' Betavolu) For some 
time, Jaggayyapeta was mentioned in 
Government records with Betavolu written 
in brackets. Even now, in some old docu- 
ments in the houses of some indigenous 
bankers of the town, we find only ' Beta- 
volu ' mentioned as the name of the 


All this is recent history and is self- 
evident. But apart from it, this region 
has an ancient and splendid history behind 
it. Though it is so, only a few know that 
the innocent-looking mound 'Dhami Bodu', 
lying east of Jaggayyapeta, has in it the 
remains of an ancient stupa, which has 
been lying there for 2,000 years. Fewer 
still know how the surnames of many a 
family in Jaggayyapeta have got their 
beginnings in that dim but splendid past 
of this town. 

An archaeological officer of the British 
Government, Mr. Jas Burgess, has written 
a good deal about the stupa that once 
existed on this ' Dhana Bodu '. The same 
officer has to his credit the excavations 
carried on at Amaravati and Jaggayya- 
peta and he has written exhaustively on 
these. Later, Mr. Rea, a civilian official, 
took an interest in the excavations at 
Ghantasala, Gudivada and Bhattiprolu 
and wrote a book giving a detailed account 
of the relics obtained therefrom. It is 
only through the writings of these two 
great men that we are today able to know 
comprehensively of the sculptural wealth 
of those Buddhist stupas. But curiously 
enough, the books of these two writers 
are not available today even to those 
that can afford to buy them ; and it is 
incumbent upon the Government to encou- 
rage the re-publication of such valuable 

Following is an extract from the 
1 \rchaeological Survey of Southern India", 
Vol I by Jas Burgess. 


Scenes from the. life of the Bwlilhi. Sandstone. 5th century AD. --Sarnath 


Thirty miles north-west from Amara- 
vati, on the Paler River, a tributary 
of the Krishna, and about four miles 
north of their junction, is the flourishing 

town of Betavolu, rebuilt by the same 
Vasireddi who destroyed so much of the 
Amaravati stupa, and renamed by him 
Jaggayyapeta. About a mile to the east 
of the town is a hill of no great height, 
known as Dhana Bodu or *' Hill of 
Wealth," on which is one of the stations 
of the great Trignometrical Survey. 
The people of the village had been in the 
habit of digging for many years past into 
brick mounds that covered a portion of 
the south-west of this hill, and in 1881 
they excavated some v-u-ved slabs. The 
local native officer, a more than usually 
intelligent man, hearing of this, took 
possession of the slabs and promptly 
reported the matter to Madras. In Febru- 
ary 1882, I visited the place, arid found 
that there had at one time been on the 
hill a group of stupas, mostly small, 
together with some other buildings of a 
very early date. But they had been so 
long dug over for bricks and slabs, that 
of one only was there any very distinct 
remains left. It was to the south-west of 
the other traces, and had long ago lost 
the whole of the dome and rail, and had 
been rifled of its relic-casket. No doubt 
Vasireddi Venkatadri Nayadu had largely 
utilised the materials of this as well as of 
the others in the building of the neigh- 
bouring town; indeed, in the roof of a 
small temple, built about a century ago 
at the foot of hill, I found, among other 
slabs of the same sort, a portion of one 
of the five tall pillars which had adorned 
the east face of the stupa, bearing a copy 
of the same inscription as I found engraved 
on other two of them. 

On excavating round the mound, it was 
found to be 31 J feet in diameter, and had 

' been faced with slabs of the same stone as 
that used at Amaravati. They had been 
quarried on the bank of the Krishna, im- 
mediately to the south ; and th/sre can be 
little doubt that the Amaravati slabs were 
all brought from the same place. The 
slabs surrounding the base of the stupa, 
of which many were 'in situ,' stood about 
3'-9" above the level of a procession path, 
10 J feet wide, which surrounded the whole. 
But the rail around this had entirely disap- 
peared ; not a fragment of it could be 
found. It had been carried off apparently 
while the stupa itself was tolerably entire. 
The stupa had next been attacked, and, if 
it had a casing of carved stone, as is quite 
probable, it also had been carried away, 
and then the material of the dome, on 
being thrown down, covered the procession 
path and the slabs round the basement, 
and conducted to their preservation. On 
some portions of the outer edge of the 
procession path were found portions of 
the brick and lime base that had been 
made to support the pillars of the outer 

To the south-east of the stupa, over an 
area of about 170 feet by 120, were found 
the lower portions of pillars, scarcely 
rising above the surface of the ground, 
but which must have been arranged at 
regular intervals about 11 feet apart. 
From the south-west corner of this area 
extends a low fence of large stones laid 
together along part of the two adjacent 
sides. This area and the lines of the pillars 
do not face the stupa, but, as it were, 
looks past the east side of it. The first 
impression regarding these pillars is that 
they had formed one of those groups, 
perhaps supporting a roof, and forming a 
large hall, of which we have several 
examples in Ceylon. That they did form 
a large mandapa of some sort, there 


can be little doubt ; a place of assembly 
for visitors to the stupa. 

Inside the outer casing of slabs the 
stupa was formed of earth in layers about 
two feet thick, over each of which was 
laid a close flooring of very large bricks 
closely fitted together. In this way little 
or no water could percolate into the 
centre and so swell the earth as to injure 
the outer casing. The relic must have 
been deposited not lower than the base of 
the dome, for in the loose disturbed earth 
on the top a small fragment of the outer 
stone casket was found, and the flooring 
of bricks over the first layer of earth 
below this was intact. 

The slabs surrounding the base of the 
stupa are about 3'-6" to 3'-9" wide, and 
very few of them have any carving except 
a small pilaster up the edge. Over a 
carefully carved base of very early type is 
a makara, seahorse, or other monster, and 
on it stands a male or female figure whose 
head reaches to the top of the shaft. 
These figures are probably Yakshas, and 
the counterparts of those found on the 

Exterior of Cave XIX at Ajanta 

Bharhut pillars. The capital is heavy, 
and of the pattern already noticed in what 
are believed to be the earliest of the 
Amaravati sculptures and in the Pitalk- 
hora viharii. On it sit two winged animals. 
These reach to a flat projecting member, 
much injured all round. These pilasters 
are carved on one edge of each slab, and 
the back of the outer side of each is hewn 
away, so as to allow the plaint edge of the 
next slab to be inserted with a hold of a 
few inches behind it, so concealing the 
joint and strengthening the whole casing. 
But the base of the stupa could hardly 
have stopped here : a frieze almost cer- 
tainly surmounted this, but was all car- 
ried off. 

These pilasters are so interesting for 
comparison with those at Bharhut, the 
earliest Western caves, and the oldest 
sculptures at Amaravati, that a pretty 
full illustration from the few that remain 
can be drawn. 

The stone of which these slabs consist 
burns into excellent lime, and no frag- 
ments being noticeable in the town of 
Jaggayyapeta is perhaps accounted for in 
this way : that the slabs were all thrown 
into the limekiln and converted into 

On the upper facia of some of the slabs 
were few letters of inscriptions, in no 
case sufficient to yield a name or complete 
word, but in characters of the Maurya 
type, and which may belong to as early a 
date as the beginning of the second 
century B. C. 

A longer inscription on the pillars that 
had ornamented the eastern gate is in a 
much later character and will be given 
below ; and a still later one was dis- 
covered on a relief of Buddha on the 
pavement west of the stupa. 

The few carvings on the slabs of the 
basement are in very low relief and of 
archaic type. 

One slab, much broken, has upon it a 
drawing of a shrine or Punyasala. 

The front is supported by four pillars 
standing on a basement to which the ascent 
is by steps. Inside is seen the Srlpada under 
a rudely drawn seat or altar, over which is 
a chhatra or umbrella with two garlands 
hanging from it. From the lintel also 
depend what seem intended for ornamental 
hangings or garlands, and on the floor are 
several round objects, but whether inten- 
ded to represent blossoms offered or not 
is uncertain. In each side division of the 
front is a female, that on the left much 
defaced, but the other bearing a vessel 
probably of flowers as an offering. The 
proportions of this and of a male figure 
outside to the right are very poor, but her 
head-dress, etc., are so exact a copy of some 
of those in Cave No. X. at Ajanta, that 
there can be no doubt they represent the 
same caste or race, and that the Ajanta 
frescoes are only a later representation of 
Andhra worshippers. The Ajanta Chaitya, 
Cave No. X., may be almost as old as this 
stupa, and it is only from the style of its 
paintings that we can conjecturally fix its 
age : they are by far the oldest at Ajanta 
or even in India, and can hardly be placed 
later than the Christian era, if not before 
it. The paintings in that cave, the sculp- 
tures in the Pitalkhora vihara and in the 
small vihara at Bedsa, and these fragments 
with the earlier sculptures found at Ama- 
ravati, are among the most important 
discoveries made in the peninsula for the 
elucidation of the earliest art. Nor should 
the Bhftrhut sculptures be overlooked in 
any comparison of these early remains. 
If more boldly executed than these of 
Jaggayyaputa, it will be found that there 
are underlying characteristics common to 
both and pointing to the same age. 

The upper part of the building represen- 
ted on this slab seems intended to represent 
a second storey with an arched or chaitya 

window on each side of a large latticed 
centre compartment, and over this an 
arched roof with a large chaitya window in 
front, the apex of which rises over the ridge 
of the roof, and on the latter are four orna- 
mental finials reminding one of those on 
the monolithic 'Raths' at Mahavellipuram. 
To the right of the building is a man 
standing on a cushion, with a scarf passed 
across his breast, worshipping towards 
the shrine. To the left is a date palm- 
tree rising to the height of the building. 
Parts of two other similar buildings were 
found on two fragments of broken slabs. 
On another slab i>s a tal] male figure, 
standing on a cushion with a high tur- 
ban, broad necklace, armlets and brace- 
lets, and his clothing gathered prini- 
cipally round his waist. An umbrella is 
over his head, 'n front is the Chakra on a 
short pillar, and behind his head is an 
object like a drum, also on a short 
supporting pillar. Above are clusters of 

Interior of Chaitya Hall. Kuril 

objects which may be compared to the 
lower ends of bags, and from five different 
points among them stream down square 
objects, which, it may be, represent pieces 
of money. There seem to be rude devices 
on them similar to what are represented 
on the pieces of money in the Bharhut 
scene of the purchase of the Jetavana by 
Anathapindika. Before or to the right 
of the man stands a woman, also on a 
cushion, with heavy anklets and bunches 
of balls attached, as is sometimes worn to 
the present day. She has very large ear- 
rings, and her head-dress is of the peculiar 
style only found in these very early 
representations. Below her is a horse 
saddled and with a plume, but the figure 
is altogether below proportion even to the 


woman, who is about half the height of 
the man. Behind the central figure are 
two young men paying reverence to him, 
eich with a scarf across the chest and 
with heavy ear-rings and large turbans; 
they, like all the figures, stand on 
cushions possibly a conventionalism. 
Below them is an elephant about half 
their height, saddled, and with his trunk 
raised towards the tall man. Who this 
represents we know not : some great 
person, the owner of horse and elephant, 
with wife and sons, and symbols of 

On two pieces of another slab was found 
part of the representation of a Dagaba 
having a very simple capital or relic- box 
without the usual abacus, but supporting 
five chhatris of various sizes, each having 
two garlands depending from it. A garland 
is carried round the dome, hung apparently 
from projecting horn-shaped supports. 

Another broken slab represents the base 
of another Dagaba with a man and woman 
offering flowers before it. The basement of 
a shrine appears on another fragment and 
what seems to have been part of the 
front of a throne. The low relief of all 
these carvings, as compared with those of 
the great rail at Amaravati, cannot fail to 
strike one. 

The portions of the drum or base of the 
stupa facing each of the gates or cardinal 
points projected between 2 and 2J feet 
from the rest for a length of from 12 to 
15 feet. This was distinctly marked at 
the south and west sides, as also at the 
north, though most of the stones had 
been carried off from the last. At the 
east front the only stones left had been 
disturbed, but there can be little doubt 
the same arrangement existed at it as on 
the other sides. It was only at these 
fronts that any slabs were found bearing 


sculptures other than the pilasters on the 
edge of each. 

At three of the sides large pillars or 
stelae were found lying, and at the east 
side one bearing an inscription lay where 
it had fallen. It was about 17 feet long, 
but the upper portion of it had been 
broken off; and how long it may have been 
originally is unknown. For the lower 7J 
feet it was square, and above this octa- 
gonal. There had been five such stelae 
on each face, and on the lower portion of 
the octagonal shaft of this one was an 
inscription in characters that belong to 
about the third or fourth century A.D., 
but possibly earlier. Two other copies of 
it were also found on fragments of similar 
pillars, one on a portion carried off by 
the villagers and broken, but secured by 
the local native officer; and another in the 
roof of a small ruined temple at the base 
of the hill. These inscriptions read thus: 

No. 1. 

...dham Rano Madhariputasa Ikha 
. . . r(i)vira - Purisa(da)tasa sariwachhar(a) 
20 vfisapakham 8 divasarii 10 (1) . . ka . 
the Nadature vathavasa avesanisa Naka- 
chamdasa put(o) game Mahakamdurure 
vathavo ( 2 ) avesani Sidhatho apano 
mataram Nagilanim purato katunam 
gharanim cha Samudanim balaka . cha 
Mulasiribfi (3)l(i)karhcha.akabudhanikam 
bhatukam cha Budhinakam tasa gharanim 
cha Kanikam balaka cha Nagasiri Cham- 
dasiri balikam (cha) (4) Sidhathanikam 
evam natimitasam . . ivagena saha ga. 
Velagiriyam Bhagavato Budhsa puvadare 
aya - (5) ka - kharhbhe 5 save niyute apano 
deya . . satanarh hi . sukhaya patitha- 
pita ti|| (6) 


" Success ! On the 10th day of the 8th 
fortnight of the rainy season, in the 20th 
year of the king Purisadata (Purusha- 

datta), the glorious hero (srivira) of the 
Ikhakus (Iksvakus) and son of the 
Madhara (mother) the artisan (avesani) 
Sidatha (Siddhartha) resident in the village 
of Mahakamdurura, the son of the artisan 
Nakachamda (Nagachandra) resident in 
the village of Nadatura in the province 
(rathe) of Kammaka, 'having associated 
(with him) his mother Nagilani, and his 
son Mulasiri (Mulasri) and his daughter 
Nakabudhanika (Nagabuddhanika) and his 
brother Budhanika, and the wife of the 
same Kanika (Kanyaka, Krishna, or 
Karnika) and (their) two sons Nagasiri 
(Nagasri) and Chamdasiri (Chandrasri) and 
daughter Sidhathanika (Siddharthanika), 
erected thus, together with the multitude 




of his blood-relations, friends and conne- 
xions, in the village of Velagiri, near the 
eastern gate of the Great Chaitya of 
divine Buddha, five (5) Ayaka pillars, which 
were dedicated by all (the above persons) 
as his own meritorious gift for the good 
and the welfare of all living beings." 

Who this king Purushadatta was we do 
not know, but further discoveries may 
yet reveal something more of his dynasty. 
Iksvaku is , famous in Indian legends as 
the mythical founder of the Solar race 
and of an early dynasty, the Aikshvukas* 
which, according to the Vayu and Matsya 
Puranas, lasted through twenty-four 
descents. The Buddhists and Jainas 
also trace the descent of their sacred 
personages from the same hero. The 


Iksvakus are sometimes mentioned as a 
warlike tribe or race. The claim of 
Purushadatta to be of this race, however, 
is most probably an idle boast. He may 
have belonged to some local dynasty 
which succeeded the Andhras on the 
Lower Krishna. But the character of the 
alphabet in which these documents are 
engraved probably belongs to a later 
period than the original construction of 
the stupa. A few letters found on the 
capitals of the pilasters surrounding the 
base of the stupa are of a very much 
earlier form ; indeed they so closely 
resemble the Maurya alphabet, that there 
can be little doubt that the original 
structure belongs to a date considerably 
before the Christian era. 

A much later sculpture was found lying 
on its face on the procession path north- 
west side. This was a standing figure of 
Buddha in high relief in a panel with an 
inscription underneath in five lines of 
different lengths, and in an alphabet of 
about 600 A.D. 

The stone measures about 3 '-11" by 
2'-l", and the image is in a sunk recess 
2' 1" by 14". with the robe disposed as 
usual, and the right hand raised as if in 
blessing ; the face is very short and the 
figure ill proportioned. On the border of 
the panel above the head is a crude 
conventional representation of the sacred 
tree, and down each side are (1) a Vidya- 
dhara or other superhuman being with 
a conical cap, among what may represent 
clouds ; (2) a dagaba, very rudely repre- 
sented, with the five-hooded snake carved 
on the drum or base ; and (3) a standing 
figure with a conical cap. The Buddha- 
stands on a lotus which is spread over 
part of the base and interferes with the 
Sanskrit inscription. This reads : 

Svasti Bhadanta Nagarju Nacary- 
yasya sishya (shyo) Jayaprabhacaryya 
(h) Tach chhishyena Cha(ndra) pra- 
bhena karapitam satu(ty ?) -Sugata 
gata~prasada-vii*esha visishta samsare 
devamanu (Ja) vibhatiplrvakam Buddha- 
ttva pnlpti nimittam Buddha-pratimam 
( shtha ) pitam anumodana ( pakshe? ) 
kurvantu sarve Saugaty agrya(?) nyo pi, 

k 'Hail! The disciple of the reverend Naga- 
rjunacharya (was) Jayaprabhacharya. May 
everybody even one who is different from 
the best of Saugatas approve of the 
image of Buddha caused to be made by 
his (Jayaprabha's) disciple Chandraprabha, 
and established for the purpose of the 
attainment of the condition of a Buddha 
after (the enjoyment of greatness in the 
world of gods and men in the course of 
existences characterised by the great fa- 
vours of the real Buddha (of whom this is 
an image)." 

As Mr. J. Fergusson has handled 
so exhaustively the sculptures of the 
Mackenzie and Elliot collections from 
Amaravati, and the contents of this volu- 
me are simply supplementary to his work, 
much need not be said by way of conclu- 
sion. With the additional information we 
have accumulated since Mr. Fergusson's 
"Tree and Serpent Worship" was prepared, 
his main conclusions have not been shaken 
but rather confirmed That buildings did 
exist on the site of the Amaravati stupa be- 
fore the Christian era is amply confirmed by 
the style of the earlier sculptures and the 
inscriptions upon them, which point to a 
period about a century or more before 
that epoch ; and they evidently belonged 
to a stupa possibly the same that conti- 
nued all through the later history of the 
place. Next the inscription of Pulumayi 
and others, which, on palaeographic 
grounds, must belong to about the same 

age or within the next half century, afford 
evidence that the repair and embellish- 
ment of the stupa ami the erection of the 
outer rail were begun in the second century, 
and perhaps completed before the end of 
it, or at latest during the earlier part of 
the third. The sculptures of the inner 
rail would seem to be of a somewhat 
later date, and may not have been com- 
pleted much before the end of the third 

All that has of late been discovered 
bearing on the history of Indian art is 
perfectly in accordance with this. The 
farther the palaeographical indications 
carry us back from about the beginning 
of the second century, the less elegant 
and perfect the style of the sculptures is. 
About that point of time it seems to have 
culminated in refinement, and after a 
short period of elaborate richness of 
detail conventionalism began to set in. 

The remains of the Jaggayyapeta stupa 
throw light upon this history. What 
fragments of sculpture remain are so 
closely allied to what had previously been 



a (iJerektik, tier I in.) 

considered the oldest of those at Amara- 
v;il i and to the sculptures in the oldest of 
the Western caves, that they strongly 
support the accuracy of our previous 
determinations, while they show that most 
of the slabs of this early age found at 
Amaravati may most probably have be- 
longed to the facing of the base of the 
first stupa of the Piirvasaila school at this 

Few as they are, they indicate that 
the Amaravati stupa was first raised as 
early as perhaps the second century B. O 
and decorated with sculptured marbles; at a 
later date possibly, it was greatly enlarged 
and covered with new sculptures ; and it 
was in the height of its popularity when the 
great rail was erected shortly before A. D. 
200. That very large reconstructions have 
taken place is abundantly evidenced by 

the numerous fragments of carved slabs 
that are found propping the pillars of the 
rail and buried beneath the procession 
path. Further excavations in the vast 
accumulations of earth and bricks round 
its site, if only carried out under skilled 
supervision, may yet disclose other remains 
of interest. 

The three copies of the same inscription 
which are found in various places in 
Jaggayyapeta, which are marked as No. 1,2. 
and 3 by Jas Burgess, and the inscription 
below the statue of the Buddha throw a 
flood of light on the social history of the 
period. The word 'avesani', which we 
find in the thrice-repeated inscription 
means a mason and the inscription 
shows that masons and sculptors in those 
days occupied an eminent social position. 
The same word * avesani ' is found in 
another inscription on the gate of the 
Sanchi stupa, where it is said that the 
' avesani ' of the King Satakarni had 
made an offering of an ayakastambha. 

The word ' Kamaka Rastra ' in the 
above inscription is interpreted in various 
ways. Some think that it denotes a pro- 
vince predominantly populated by karma- 
kfiris in sculpture,* i.e. sculptors. There 
are others who hold that it denotes the 
the province of the Kammas (a caste), who 
might have in those days taken to the 
profession of sculptors. 

It is said in the above inscription that 
Siddhartha, the mason, had constructed 
five ayakastarnbhas for the stupa in 
Vellagiri. The phrasing suggests that the 
site of the stupa, the present-day Jagga- 
yyapeta, was then known as Vellagiri. 

Vellagiri, Vedagiri, Elagiri are phoneti- 
cally similar and at present we find a 
pilgrim centre, Nedadri, only seven miles 
from Jaggayapeta, situated on the bank 

of the Krishna River. It is evident from 
the inscription in the temple there, that it 
was built in the Kakatlya period. This 
pilgrim centre is also otherwise known as 
V6dagiri or Elagiri. This name might 
have been given to it after it eclipsed the 
glory of Vellagiri, the Buddhist centre. 

Whatever it be, it can be definitely said 
that Jaggayyapcta was known in the Bud- 
dhist period as Vellagiri. The inscription 
below the statue at Jaggayypeta shows 
that a certain Jayaprabha, a disciple of 
one who had studied at the feet of Naga- 
rjuna, had erected this statue. The ins- 
cription is said to be of the (5th century 
A. D. Whatever it be, \ve can definitely 
say that the inscription proves beyond 
doubt the fact of this region being hallow- 
ed by the footprints of Nagarjuna. 

The Buddhists seem to have taken a 
fancy for establishing their centres on the 
banks of the rivers and it may be the rea- 
son why we come across such centres as 
Nagarjunakonda, Amaravati. Jaggayya- 
peta, Ghantasala, situated on the banks 
of the Krishna. The whole area covering 
the present-day Nandigama taluk of the 
Krishna District seems to have been in 
those days a Buddhist Holy Land. In 
many of the villages in this taluk, in hills 
and dales and uncultivated lands, we come 
across sculptured slabs, idols, large-sized 
bricks, potsherds and bones of horses. 
Some grave mounds of a pre-historic age 
are also often met with. In these graves 
apart from the various kinds of bones, we 
usually find metal discs, implements, 
candlesticks, toys, decorated pots, etc- 
We would be quite justified in saying that 
this taluk can provide a vast field for 
research for historians and archaeologists. 

I will now try to give an account, 
though not exhaustive, of the various 

Interior of cave XIX at Ajanta. 

villages in Nandigama taluk in which many 
Buddhist relics abound. 

Budavada : The name of the village 
itself indicates that it had something to d ) 
with the Buddha. Bodhivada, Budavada. 
Buddha vada are phonetically very close 
to each other. There are to he seen hcrr 
even today some mounds of ancient relics. 

Penuganchiprolu : Relics of many a Bud- 
dhist shrine are to be seen here. Some 
Jaina sculptures are now and then found. 
It is siad that once a resident of the 
locality sold a number of sculptured slabs 
to foreigners ; the man had come across 
the slabs in his field. Even now, farmers 
ploughing the fields sometimes turn up 
idols. One such idol of the Buddha recently 
found is at present installed for worship 
by the local people. 

Malakapuram : At a distance of 1C miles 
from Nandigama and eight from Jagga" 
yyapeta, this village is situated on the 
banks of River Muneru. Many ancient 


Adoration of Buddha's begging Bowl. 
In the division of the relics that took 
place after Mahaparinirvana, the beg- 
ging bowl came to the lot of Drona. The 
above depicts the event and the resulting 
adoration. A part of the Amaravati 


relics of unknown origin are to be found. 
Nearby is an uninhabited village, Jainula- 
padu, where many Jaina idols are found. 
This place is said to have once been a 
Jaina town. The Hindu temples and idols 
that are found here seem to be of a later- 
age, probably the late Kakatiya period. 

Polampalli : Many ancient mounds, old 
pots, and tiles are to be seen in this place. 
Relief sculptures of Nagas are also found. 

Ramireddipalle : In this village, which 
is about seven miles from Jaggayyapeta, 
the Archaeological Department excavated 
an old mound in 1926-27 and as a result 
of it, the relics of an ancient Buddhist 
caitya were found. The site has been 
under the care of the Archaeological 
Department since 1877. Further excava- 
tions may reveal yet more interesting 

Ravirala : This is at the confluence of 
the River Palerii and the River Krishna. 
Many old temples of extraordinary scul- 
ptural beauty are to be found here. 

Gani Atukuru : This is a place famous 
once for its diamond mines and we learn 
from the history of the Vasireddi family 
that tho Nizam, at the time of the cession 
of the Masulipatam Gircars to the East 
India Company, excluded this village from 
the area and kept it for himself because of 
these diamonds. Even now, the neigh- 
bouring village, Paritala, is noted for 

diamonds. A stray diamond is now and 
then found especially after the rains, in 
this village. The village is also referred 
to in the story of the Lord's Tooth. 

Muktyala : This village is situated at a 
distance of five miles from Jaggayyapeta. 
By the evidence of an inscription, we 
know that the temple of Mukteswara and 
the other religious buildings there were 
constructed by Sagi Potiraju. But a mound 
in an uninhabited village, Bhogalapadu, 
which is nearby, has recently revealed 
that this village too has an history behind 
it which can be traced to the beginning of 
the Christian era. The relics that were 
found in the mound are dealt with else- 

Gudimetla : This village is at present 
included in the revenue village of Ram anna - 
pet, which is eight miles from Nandigama. 
Some inscription of 1268 A. D. and some 
buildings of 1328 A. D, can be seen here. 

Apart from the above-mentioned, there 
are many other places which are yet to be 
scientifically excavated. Many of the 
famous families of Nandigama taluk can 
be traced to Buddhist or Jain -influences' 
Some think that the present-day Ayyade- 
vara family descended from Aryadeva, the 
celebrated Buddhist acharya, and similar 
views are held regarding the families now 
known as * Buddhu ' and * Jainu '. 





VMhile much has been discovered, des- 
cribed and broadcast on the subject 
of " Medicine in Plastic Art and Painting 
in Ancient Times '' by writers of the West, 
this aspect of medicine or art seems to 
have been unheard of in India. 

This was probably because the medical 
men of our country were trained to ignore 
art. This is all the more surprising in a 
country like India, where, turn where you 
will, you cannot help seeing pieces of 
ancient sculpture or painting. Examples, 
to mention a few, are the Ajanta and 

Ellora caves, the Sanchi stupa, the ruins 
and remains of Konarak and Hampi and 
the great temples of South India. 

Indian artists were inspired only by 
religious motives and subjects, giving no 
thought or time to human deformities, 
diseases, drugs, doctors, death and other 
unpleasant aspects of life. They took 
great pains and loved to chisel and carve 
gods, goddesses, minor deities, angels, 
sages, heroes of war, great donors and 

The study of the famous excavations at 
Amaravati in the last century followed 

Mandhata J 31 aka Mandhata on the dc.alh bed in hi* garden, 
after having fallen from heaven. N ayarjunaknoda 

by the recent discovery of the buried 
city of Vijayapuri in the Nagarjunakonda 
area have revolutionised our ideas on the 
relation of art and the relics of ancient 
art to the study of the history of art, 
social history and social medicine and the 
history of medicine. 

The Jataka tales and the incidents in 
the life of the Buddha and his religion 
were very popular among the common 
people, who were also liberal donors for 
the construction of stupas, ayaka plat- 
forms, railings etc. Andhra artists were 
probably not very learned in the Sanskrit 
Silpa Sastra, though they were skilful 
craftsmen and ardent admirers of the 
Jataka stories. They took one or two 
situations from a story and copied it out 
in an artistic illustration. Sometimes an 
artist gave a series of snapshots and the 
effect was almost that of a movie film. 
The artist held up the mirror to life as it 
was in those days. 

As a student of art before fate made 
me a student of medicine, I tried to see 
art in medicine and medicine in art. The 
Andhra artists, whose works we all admire 
today, must have been familiar with 
medical scenes and medical subjects. I 
believe they were to some extent conver- 
sant with the schools of Gandhara and of 
Greece as well as with the reliefs and 
artistic traditions of Egypt and Koine. 

Some of the Buddhistic remains dis- 
covered in Andhradesa depict scenes of 
some medical interest : 

In the Mandhatu Jataka panel from 
Nagarjunakonda, (100-300 A.D.), Man- 
dhatu in the royal park is seen after his 
fall from heaven, lying on a couch in 
death agony. 

The scene shows " King reclining on a 
couch in a state of extreme lassitude 
being supported by a woman, probably his 

Chaddanta Jataka, (loll 

chief queen. Two other ladies, probably 
two of his queens, are seated on stools on 
either side of the couch. A person, who 
from his mode of dress, appears to be a 
Brahmin chaplain, occupies another stool 
on the left and near him is a young man 
similarly seated, obviously grieving Female 
attendants in various attitudes are shown 
bringing in necessary things and minister- 
ing to the sick person. On the upper 
right hand corner of the composition is 
shown a portion of the sky with a crescent 
moon, a few stars and an indistinguishable 
object shown as if it is falling towards the 

The Chaddanta Jataka panel from a 
stupa near Goli (about 203 A.D.), portrays 
a queen in a faint. The panel is described 
in the Bulletin of the Madras Government 
Museum in the following words: u The 
king wearing his ornamental head-dress 
is sitting on the throne. The queen 
is leaning on his lap in a swoon or perhaps 
falling down dead at the sight of the tusks 
which the hunter is showing her in a round 


basket. The king is trying to prevent her 

The legend goes that the Bodhisatva, in 
one of his previous births, was born as a 
royal elephant with six tusks. He had 
two wives, one of whom conceived a 
grouse against her lord. She died and in 
her next birth was born as a woman and 
married the king of Benares. She became 
the favourite. As she harboured feelings 
of revenge against her former elephant- 
husband, she pretended to be sick and told 
her husband that she saw in her dreams a 
six-tusked elephant, the possession of 
whose tusks alone would cure her. A 
bold hunter received instructions from her, 

&.; Ill 

B-uddha Bronze, Gandhara3-4th century A.D. 

went to the region of the Himalayas and 
dug a pit and caught the elephant. When 
the hunter attempted to slay the animal, 
the elephant king learned from the hunter 
his mission and aided him in sawing off its 
tusks. As soon as the tusks were cut, 
the elephant fell dead. The hunter took 
the tusks to the queen, who on hearing of 
the elephant's death, was filled with 
remoise and died of a broken heart. 

The Sibi Jataka is immortalised in 
poetry, stone and painting : King Sibi 
took a vow that " If a needy person 
should beg my very heart, I will cut open 
my breast with a spear pull forth my 
heart and give it. If he should name the 
flesh of my body, I will cut the flesh of 
my body and give it away. Should any 
man demand my eyes, I will tear out my 
eyes and give them." Such was the king's 

The original Mahabharata story as well 
as the popular Buddhist version refers to 
the King's giving his flesh to save a dove 
from the talons of a hawk. Hieun Tsang, 
mentions this story as current in the 
Udyana country. He also mentions that 
ordinary mortals should not think of such 

The story as depicted in the Amara- 
vati sculptures, shows a surgeon cutting 
the flesh from the king's arm. King Sibi 
is supported by a person. On the exteme 
right of the operation scene, there is a 
balance with flesh on the scales. The 
surgeon is facing the king. In his left 
hand, he is grasping the left hand of the 
king. The surgeon's right forearm is flexed 
at an acute angle and therefore hidden 
from our view. We can however, see the 
broad blade of his knife cutting the flesh 
of the King's arm about the middle of 
the humerus. 


3. $ibi Jdtaka. Amardvati 

In another sculpture of the Gandhara 
School, the king is sitting on a throne 
with a dove near his feet. Two people 
are removing bits of flesh from the chest 
and lower limbs of the king. One person 
is standing. The left upper limb is enclosed 
in a sort of sleeve or dress or a row of 
bangle-like ornaments. The hair of this 
person is tied up in a knot. The other 
person, who is sitting removing with a 
knife the flesh, probably from the thighs, 
is more naturally dressed. 

Another story from the Jataka, more 
common in Buddhistic circles, describes 
how Indra wished to test the king and, 
in the form of an old Brahmin, appeared 
before him and said " To ask an eye, the 
old man comes from far, for I have none ; 
0, Give me one of yours, I pray, then, we 
shall each have one." The king offered 

both his eyes. He sent for the surgeon, 
who used some powders and cut the eyes 
out and put them in the hands of the old 
man. This story is depicted in one of the 
paintings in the Ajanta caves. 

A panel at Ainaravati shows Jivaka, the 
personal physician of the Buddha and 
King Bimbisara, taking the ailing King 
AjataSatru to ,the Blessed One. AjataSatru 
was suffering from mental agony after he 
committed the murder of his father 
Bimbisara. The king is seen making 
obeisance to the Tathagata (represented 
by an empty throne) surrounded by the 
disciples and the brotherhood. The phy- 
sician, Jivaka is standing on one side of 
the king with folded hands saluting the 

But the pictorial arts of the ancients of 
the West give a much truer pictorisation 


of medicine as practised in those days. 
As Carl D. Clark says. " Medicine and 
pictorial arts were two of man's undertak- 
ings from the beginning of History... First 
came his desire to cure his own ills as well 
as those of his fellowmen ; second, his 
urge to reproduce in pictures or plastic 
form, a representation of something he 
had seen/' 

The first and earliest pictorial records 
are those of biological subjects drawn by 
cavemen of the stone age or paleolithic 
period. The earliest known representa- 
tion of the human figure is a limestone 
statuette of a paleolithic woman belong- 
ing to middle Aurignatian period (22,000 
B. C.). 

The archaeological monuments unearth- 
ed and deciphered in Egypt and Assyria 
have yielded some interesting materials, 
illustrating medical subjects by artists of 
ancient times. 

Ptah, a divinity of Memphis, though 
primarily a great architect, looked after 
the people's health and shared th'*s res- 
ponsibility with Imhotep. Temples were 
built for him. Imhotep, whom Osier des- 
cribed as * the first figure of a physician to 

stand out from the midst of antiquity,' 
was an official, the grand vizier of King 
Zoser. He was an architect, a priest, 
astronomer, magician, physician and sage. 

There are many reliefs and paintings of 
ancient Egypt illustrating medical subjects. 
Sudhoff in his catalogue, includes among 
others, the following : (1) Statues of 
physicians ; (2) Amulets against pathogenic 
worms (3) Queen in labour in an obstetric 
chair attended by a midwife (4) operation 
of circumcision. Major reproduces pictures 
of an achondroplastic dwarf from Cairo 
Museum and the operation of circumcision, 
represented on the wall of a tomb belong- 
ing to 2400 B. C. 

A stele in Rome, belonging to 2000 B.-C. 
gives a portrait of a young prince showing 
a deformity of the right leg which is fre- 
quently described as illustrating an early 
case of poliomylitis. 

According to Anna L. Macgochen, " In 
the tombs at Sakkarah, dating to the 
fifth dynasty, there is a bas-relief which 
depicts a surgical operation. The surgeon 
is at work, and an assistant, probably a 
nurse, is holding the hand of the patient 
to prevent her from interfering with the 

4. King Sibi cutting away his flesh as a gift. AmaYavati. 

surgeon. In another bas-relief, a woman 
is seen holding the hands of a child on 
whom an operation is being performed. 
There is evidence that several operations 
were going on in the same compartment. 
These operations were probably performed 
in a compartment set aside for the purpose 
in the temple the forerunner of the 
modern surgical hospital." 

The stele of Iry, belonging to 2300 B.C. 
near the pyramid of Cheops, represents 
the royal opthalmologist, holding a vase 
to his nose. He is described as chief of 
court physicians, eye-specialist, magician, 
specialist in intestinal diseases etc. 

A painting on the tomb of Nebamon, 
royal physician to Aruenofis II (Fifteenth 
century B.C.) represents an Assyrian ruler 
consulting the Egyptian physician, and 
the physician is offering the ruler medicine 
which he has poured from a bottle into 
a cup. 

The stele of Hammurabi, found at Susa, 
portrays the King receiving the laws from 
the Sun God. Some of the laws relate to 
medical practice. Babylonian surgical 
instruments of bronze from Nineveh are 
in the collection of Prof. Meyer-Steineg. 
Amulets with pictorial representations 
and writings used as charms to drive away 
disease and demons have also been dis- 

Clarke asserts that art was far in 
advance of medicine in Ancient Greece. 
Some of the excavations in Greece indicate 
a close association between medicine and 

The worship of Asklepios, the healing 
god, was introduced about 420 B. C. There 
were about two hundred temples to 
Asklepios in Greece. These were called 
Asklepieions and included rooms where 
patients slept, bathing establishments, 
buildings for physical therapy etc. A bas 

relief in Athens Museum shows an offer- 
ing to Asklepios by a patient. Another 
shows a case with surgical instruments. 
Another, a physician palpating the epigas- 
trium of a patient. One is the grave stone 
of a physician, showing the physician 
studying a scroll, with other scrolls and 
instrument case in front of him. Numerous 
votive tables have been brought to light 
showing Asklepios, his sons and daughters 
with a grateful family of patients, show- 
ing a patient suffering from phlebites of 
the leg, showing Asklepios treating a 
patient suffering from trouble in the right 
shoulder, describing the treatment in 
detail, showing uterus and bladder, showing 
lesions of breasts, figures of scrotum, 
penis, and phimosis, brain with its con- 

A terracotta of sixth century B. C. 
shows a Cretan woman nursing an infant 
Another shows an erotic alcoholic. An 
ancient Greek drinking bowl of c. 490 
B. C. has a picture of Achilles bandaging 
the arm of Patrocleus. Another ancient 
Greek vase depicts venesection. 

There are similarly, numerous archaeolo- 
gical remains, relics, sculptures and paint- 
ings of medical interest from the Roman 
Empire. Even before the spread of Greek 
civilization to Rome, Etruscan medicine 
flourished; Bronze livers and a bronze mir- 
ror showing a sooth-sayer examining the 
liver for omens, votive tablets of 5th cen- 
tury B.C., representing heart, uterus, 
breast, ear and eye have been discovered. 

At the height of its power and glory, 
Rome was famous for its sanitation, for 
its aqueducts for the supply of drinking 
water, for its public baths with arrange- 
ments for massage and sweating, excellent 
arrangements for the draining of marshes 
and systems with water closets, flushed 
with running water (a sanitary device then 


unknown to Europe) and also buildings 
equipped with public urinals. 

The earliest of the Greek physicians to 
visit Rome was Archagathas (219 B.C.). 
He was called the " Wound Healer ". 

The most famous of the Roman physi- 
cians was Asklepiades (91 B.C.). He studied 
in Alexandria and had, as his patients, 
famous men like Cicero and Mark Antony. 
He rejected the humoral theory of Hippo- 
crates and introduced the atomic theory 
of Demokritos into Greek medicine. 

The excavations at Pompeii reveal the 
type and plane of the house of the 
surgeon, with rooms for patients, treat- 
ment and operating rooms. 

Surgical instruments were found in the 
ruins of the house of the surgeon in 

Singer refers to the Roman Army and 
its adequate supply of military medical 
attendants and illustrates his statement 

with a picture of a panel on Trojan 
column depicting Roman military surgeons 
at advanced dressing stations, of the 
early part of the first century AD. Singer 
adds. " To the left, two Roman soldiers 
assist a wounded comrade. To the right 
a Roman military surgeon bandages the 
wounded thigh of a friendly ally. The 
costume of the surgeon is almost identical 
with that of the soldiers, though he 
carries a case for ' first aid ' slung over his 
shoulder.'' A fresco from Pompeii re- 
presents the surgeon extracting an arrow- 
head with forceps from the thigh of the 
wounded Aeneas, the Trojan hero 

Clarke reproduces from Ciba Symposia 
the following pictures of venesection in 
ancient Rome (the surgeon and patient 
are seated and the latter has placed his 
foot in a basin ; Roman delivery scene 
(ivory carving from Pompeii ; the woman 
in labour is seated in an obstetrical chair 

5. Ajatafatru paying his respects to Gurudeva in Jivaka'.s garden Amaravati 


out-of-doors, and the midwife is seated 
before her) ; and a terracotta showing a 
patient with pustules. 

In China we find pictorial representa- 
tions of Pien Chiao (c. 255 B.C.)., the 
Chinese God of Medicine, a name applied 
to all famous physicians like the term 
Dhanwantari in India. According to tradi- 
tion, he was given a package of herbs by 
a fairy and told to take them for one 
month. He obeyed and at the end of 
that time found that he could see through 
the human body and diagnose all ills. 
Tales of his uncanny predictions and 
startling cures were widely circulated. He 
travelled from one kingdom to another, 
healing the sick, like Jivaka or Charaka of 
India. He was assasinated on the order of 

Li Hsi, the court physician, who had 
become jealous of his success. 

There are also pictorial representations 
of the great doctors of Ancient Chinese 
medicine. Ts'ang Hung, Chang Chung- 
ching and Hua T'o formed the great trio. 
The first of these was respectfully called 
as the Father Te'ang and left behind 25 
case histories. The second Chang Chung- 
ching flourished in the second century 
A. D. He was the greatest physician of 
China and was called the Sage of medicine. 

The third of the trio, Hua T'o, born in 
190. A. D. was the greatest Chinese 
surgeon of antiquity. A picture shows 
the surgeon operating on a war hero, 
whose attention is diverted by a game of 

The Mourners at the parinirvana. Oandhara 2.?rd century A.D. 

life Portrayed 



Sapta Sah 


GathasaptaSati was probably the very 
first anthology of folk songs and verses 
in the whole world. These beautiful 
couj)lets expatiating the graces of rural 
life were collected and compiled 2000 
years ago by Halasatavahana, King of 
Andhradesa. These are simply descrip- 
tive and contain no connected theme. To 
string some of them together into a sequ- 
ence which breathes out a connected 
story, illustrating the various important 
events in country life, has been the main 
aim of this article. 

T anguages with political power behind 
them or literary richness and popularity 
usually overcome other languages and 
nations In ancient India, religion and 
politics were not distinct concepts separat- 
ed from each other and so Sanskrit 
language could prevail over all other 
regional tongues and dialects for centuries 
together. As the religion and language of 
Sanskrit extended their province and 
estiblished contacts with new and foreign 
nations new diction and ideology got gra- 
dually incorporated from the latter. But 
for such assimilation of foreign terms and 
traditions, Sanskrit literature would not 
have developed and enriched itself to the 
great extent that it has. 

1 74 

Lord Buddha expressed his ideas in the 
Piili language. Even before the time of 
ASoka, Buddha's, messages, religious pre- 
cepts and the Pali language had reached the 
Deccan and particularly Andhra and the 
Central Provinces. ASoka helped further 
in their expansion. Gradually, Pali, which 
held its own as a language of the widest 
religion, gained political supremacy also. 
Thus, Pali and Prakrit, languages which 
took deep roots in the Deccan by dint of 
their being the vehicles of the expanding 
religions, Buddhism and Jainism, began 
naturally to assimilate the terminology 
and traditions of regional languages. For 
instance, we find such words, originally 
having limited regional usage, but creeping 
in course of time into Prakrit and after- 
wards into Sanskrit also: Rolamba, 
Rincholi, Talura. When these words were 
adopted by the great poet of Sanskrit for 
fashion's sake, the lexicographers of 
Sanskrit had to admit and acknow- 
ledge them and certify them as Sanskrt 

in Prakrit, apart from the lot which has 
befallen nouns, the same kind of fusion 
occurred in the case of verbs also. Roots 
like "oheppu", "chekku", "chuchu" in 
Telugugot transmitted as "chavai", " cha- 
a-i", " chaccha-i ", and incorporated in 
Prakrit in such an irrecognisable way that 
Acharya Heina chandra was prompted to 
remark that the regional words do not lend 


themselves for easy rendering and even if 
somehow explained, it is often difficult to 
understand them. In as much as the 
etymology and derivation of regional words 
is usually unknown, Hemachandra laid 
down a ruling that for such words, one 
should take only the interpretation handed 
down by tradition. He even frowned upon 
the irresponsible way in which some poets 
composing them as in regional dialects, and 
commentators, explaining regional terms, 
have all committed too many blunders 
impossible to rectify (vide Desinamamala 
8th Sarga-12th Arya.) 

" Gatha Saptagati ", is a popular 
Prakrit work which emanated from the 
fertile imagination of the Telugu king 
Halasatavahana, who effected in this book 
a compilation of the immortal folk tales 
and thereby bequeathed an ever-fresh 
decoration of immense value to Prakrit 
literature. Naturally, the stories and 
descriptions in this treatise abound in 
Telugu idioms, Telugu customs and an 
attractive representation of the sweet 
pastoral atmosphere of rural life. 

Note this rural Telugu Proverb " Let a 
village descend on another village the 
Karnam i.e., village official, has nothing 
to worry and is not over-taxed in the 

least." This reminds us of a basic truth 
about the survival of rural tradition in 
India, viz. that the condition which 
prevailed and which prevails today in 
most parts of India is such that whatever 
be the impact of foreign civilizations on 
the vital customs of India, the essentials 
of rural self-sufficiency and rural harmony 
is never disturbed much. That is why we 
need not be surprised if we find in the 
pages of " Gatha$apta$ati " a picture 
coinciding in every detail with the present- 
day rural life of the seven lakhs of villages 
in India and in particular of Andhradesa. 

The merits and demerits of the rule of 
Karnams, the village officials, and the 
surpassing influence commanded by those 
related or allied to those officials, are 
well known. The idiom and intonation 
peculiar to the peasant population living 
in villages, their characteristic modes and 
fashion of dressing, their sympathies and 
spirit of co-operation and adventure, 
their revelry, private and congregational, 
have all been continuing, from time imme- 
morial, unchanged. The simple and yet 
wonderful way in which the elder men of 
the village, gathering in the afternoon at 
the central hall or before the temple, 
discuss the various complaints, cases and 
problems arising in the village and dispose 
of them or deliver judgments or declare 
resolutions, is almost universal in our 
country life today. If anybody entertains 
a doubt whether the same atmosphere has 
been persisting for two thousand years in 
our villages, then let him at once follow 
me in this rapid survey of some of 
the important scenes as depicted in 
" Gathasapa^ati ! " 

Come on, listen to the hilarity, at some 
festival or fair, men and women running 
about, amidst the sounds of drums and 
pipes, spraying coloured powders at each 


other, even besmearing each other with 
mud sometimes ! Obviously 1 hey are out 
of their senses. Intoxicated, dancing in 
pairs, the flowing hair of the fair sex, 
reckless of their head dress, the multi- 
coloured saris, the upper draping dropping 
off in their ecstatic whirling ! O, it is the 
Holi festival. (Holi is popular in Telangana 
even today, though not so extensive in 
the other districts of Andhra ). This is 
the day of full moon in Phalguna month. 
Let us have a closer view of the spectacle. 
Come ! See how Nature with all her 
colourful and fresh splendour has come to 
serve these people ! Flowers, buds, tender 
leaves and shoots, lotuses, lillies, even 
flowers and leaves of the wayside plants 
and wild foliage are today bedecking the 
tresses, ears, necks, arms and waists of 
these lovely ladies. Who is that, the best 
damsel among the group, with the be- 
witching flower-like beauty ! Why, several 
young men, also wearing these flowers 
above their ears, have joined the group, 
Who is that lad with the domineering gait 
and commanding look! 0, clearly he is 
the village official, or else the official's son. 
Let us leave them there and just visit 
the interior of the village. At the very 
outskirts we find a temple of the village 
deity. The garlands on the idol indicate 
recent * pujas.' On the other side, you 
find the village tank full of lotus flowers 
and water-birds. 

Come into that vast welcome shade of the 
village Banyan tree, which is, as it were, 
the guardian angel of the countryfolk. But 
we cannot, of course, rest here for the 
night. Shall we try the temple ! No, the 
mouldering walls and towers, the clatter 
and noise of pigeons will be '.intolerable. 
Let us go and seek shelter on the kind pial 
of some hospitable peasant. But what 
about our bed ? 0, just scatter a little 



hay there and spread your upper cloth, 
that is a fine bed. Anyhow, we cannot have 
sound sleep the dogs make a nuisance of 
themselves by barking at every new face 
coming into the village. Well, somehow, 
dawn is breaking, arise, awake, start on 
our journey, there you hear the crowing of 
the cock. Why not finish our morning 
bath in the tank. You find a lot of house- 
wives visiting the tank for carrying home 
water or having a bath. Think of the 
playful young man indulging in mischiev- 
ous sport of diving and catching your leg 
unseen, like a crocodile trying to frighten 
you. He is apologising saying that he mis- 
took you for his lady love-shameless rogue! 

We return from the tank and find 
festivity in the village it is the wedding 
of the village official's daughter. The less 
said of the licentiousness of the Karnam, 
the better. 

His house is itself a thing of beauty. 
Observe the mango tree in front full 
blown and fresh and the other trees 
spreading their cool shade. O, these 
children are too uncontrolable. They climb, 
in a twinkling, the tree tops like monkeys- 
reckless of their safety. 

After all, we must witness the wedding 
of Karnam's daughter. She is the em- 
bodiment of upsurging vigour and youthfu 

A mardvathi 

emotion ! The elders of the house seem 
to be blessing the girl. Countless women 
of matchless beauty, extremely busy, seem 
to be hurrying in every direction, like 
jewels and flowers strewn on every side. 

The jewels and ornaments worn by 
the ladies vary with individual tastes 
and also regional and class traditions : 
while the more aristocratic favour pearl 
necklaces and gem belts for the waist, 
those of moderate means go in for brace- 
lets, ear-rings and anklets. Similar is the 
case with sarees of various colours and de- 
signs, of silk and cotton. Look ! who can 
that matron approaching the party be; she 
looks like a forest fairy with a peacock 
tail adorning her hair. Her necklace of 
coloured beads suggests that she may be 
of hill tribe origin. What if! The delicate 
and costly pearl ornaments pale into insig- 
nificance in the brilliance of her beauty. 
There that peasant housewife stands out 
from the group, with her daik red saree 
and her peculiar graceful and jubilant 
gait, which seems to fill the entire srcet 
well, her husband might have just made a 
gift of that saree to her today after a long 
spell of yearning and nagging. 

But one wonders how all these experts 
and connoisseurs of the art of decoration 
could have left the bride without a single 
necklace. Evidently, everyone is over en- 

grossed in his own affairs amidst the bustle. 
Well, now they think of putting on her 
neck a priceless string of emeralds. Time 
and again, they comb her hair as at every 
gust of the wind, the hair on one side gets 
dishevelled. But the combs are ill kept 
and the peasant matron is quick to 
remark pungently that even the dirt on it 
is not cleaned. Then saffron is put on her 
forehead in the special bridal design, tur- 
meric on the legs and a red mixture of 
chunam etc., and the specially-prepared 
lampblack is applied to the eyes to lend 
them sharpness and fullness. The flower 
decoration follows. The final step is the 
black jacket, which makes the damsel look 
like the full moon amidst dark clouds. The 
silk saree is worn with the basic knot at 
the navel. The very gold of the jewels 
has gained in glory by being worn by that 
angelic beauty. All the same, who knows 
whether the goldsmith has not adulterated 
the gold with some baser stuff and replaced 
the genuine gems with artificial stones. 

The flower seller has arrived. She is a 
dexterous beauty, who under the pretext 
of displaying or measuring out the gar- 
lands, exhibits her graceful curves with 
delicate swings of the arms thereby 
attracting lustful looks from the young 
men nearby. But how quick she is to 
recognise the fire in their looks and reta- 
liate and reprove them for the impropriety. 
Plenty of garlands are purchased and 
hung up everywhere. 

The bride is made to wear the auspi- 
cious bangles. In the vessel for pooja* 
lotuses are placed. The pipes and drums 
are sounding, and amidst the din of these, 
the chanting of the priests, tracing the 
geneology of the bridegroom and recount- 
ing his exploits are eagerly listened to by 
the bride. See how she horripilates at 
every utterance of the priest praising the 
bridegroom. In conformity with the vil- 


lagc official's status, the big trumpets are 
mounted on a huge elephant and sounded 
just at the entrance to the pandal. 

Apart from this pomp, the question of 
providing a feast for the guests is of the 
utmost importance in a celebration like 
this. Let us see if adequate arrange- 
ments are being made. Oh! What a sight! 
A number of dishes, chief of which is the 
sweet (arisa) pudding, are already under 
preparation. The most pleasant spectacle 
in the kitchen is, however, the free, swing- 
ing movements of ladies at work. One of 
them is besmeared with rice flour, another 
with the lamp black. They must clean them- 
selves up before they enter the pandal. 

The playful children add to the gaiety 
of the celebrations. They care little for 
the ceremony itself; they sometimes 
even make faces at the grave priests and 
other guests. The children are getting 
great fun out of three monkeys the best 
of playmates whom they feed with all 
odd scraps, tease and make fun of. 

The four-day wedding celebrations have 
come to a close and the party of the 
bridegroom is given a hearty send-off. 

It is summer ; the heat is so oppressive 
that travellers have to meet with great 
travails, as water is so scarce on the road. 

There is talk among the people about the 
idiocyncracics and disgusting manners of 
the village official; they feel that the 
wedding celebration in his house has been 
too niggardly. 

The summer time is not without other 
dangers. Fires that break out in the heat 
are usually uncontrollable, as the people are 
often quite disorganised and unprepared. 

Scorpions are a nuisance in the village 
though the treatment for scorpion bite by 
the charmer is very amusing to watch. 

The country people have a series of 
celebrations following the wedding, the 
most important one being that marking 
the girl's attaining maturity. The arrange, 
ments for this are even more artistically 
designed and executed than for the 

The bridegroom often visits the father- 
in-law's house at the request of the latter 
and on every such occasion, there is much 
fun and frolic, which go to increase the love 
of the newly-weds for each other. 

The rainy season and winter have each 
their own beauty. Only the peasants can 
watch the progress of each season with 
real understanding for their wealth as 
well as health depend mainly on the 
clemency of the weather. 

The coporate life led by the landholder 
and the agricultural labour during the 
agricultural operations infuses in them a 
apirit of co-operation and harmonious 
living and instils a sense of unity and 

Maternity and child welfare is a peculiar 
problem in the villages. Usually every 
confinement is supposed to be a threat to 
the heal tli of the mother and a challenge 
to the resourcefulness of the husband. If 
the husband is indifferent, the lady suffers 
untold misery. 

Well, a year has past. Let us start 
again in search of somewhat better villa- 
ges. For the present, just look at the 
fresh blossoms on all the trees. Spring 
has set in. Look at those flowers drop- 
ping from the trees in a shower, looking, 
as it were, like the vast fraternity of 
Tathagata. Let us return to our own 
sweet homes in our native village, with the 
inspiring memory of Samantha Bhadda. 


Ikshvakus and Their Services 

to Buddhism 


A hnost all the early historical remains of 
And lira so far discovered are Bud- 
dhist and they are so surprisingly plentiful 
that Andhra Desa must have been inten- 
sely devoted to the creed of Gautama 
once and for long. The hold of Buddhism 
over Coastal Andhra between 300 B. C. and 
300 A.D, and its prolonged influence for 
another fiOO years was so. strong that we 
see in Andhra, art architecture, sculpture, 
painting and literature of the Buddhist 
beginnings. The Tclugu language has had 
a stimulus in the course of its evolution 
from various other languages that came 
into contact with it, like Pali, Sanskrit, 
Kannada, Maharashtra, Tamil etc.; but 
of these, the earliest to mould the Telugu 
language in the proper form was the 
Buddhist Pali. The Buddhist Sanghas 
regulated by discipline and docorum, their 
notions of equality, racial, social and 
sexual, their stern morals, their intellec- 
tual pursuits, their clean, simple and 
common life and above all, their spirit of 
missionary enterprise which made them 
enter into the hearts of the people and 
cultivate the popular tongue and which 
led them on as preachers of the Dfiamma, 
far beyond the seas, transcending all racial 
and geographical boundaries 1 these form 
the very bone and marrow of Andhra 

The spade of the archaeologist which 
has been active since the beginning of this 

century in Coastal Andhra, has disclosed 
to view relics of a glorious civilisation 
belonging to the three centuries preceding 
and following the brith of Christ. Starting 
from &filihundam ($r!kfikulam Dist.) in the 
north to Chinnaganjam in Guntur Dist. 
and from Gutti in Anantapur District to 
Battiprolu in the east, the Andhra country 
witnessed the golden age of Buddhism 
during that period. 

v/Eightyfour thousand stupas are said to 
have been constructed by ASoka, the third 
Mauryan Emperor, who did y eon/an ser- 
vice to the cause of Buddhism. J Of the 
missionaries sent out by him to different 
countries for the propagation of the creed, 
Mahadeva, the leader of the Maha- 
sanghikats reached Mahishamandala and 
started his vihara s there. Mahisha- 
mandala later came into the territory of 
the lords of the Dakshinapatha, i.e. the 
Satavahanas. According to the Malta- 
vamm, this Mahadeva, who travelled 
eastwards founded a number of settle- 
ments in Pallavabhogga or the modern 
Palnad Taluk in Guntur District and went 
to Anuradhapura in Ceylon for the con- 
secration of the Suvannamalaka stupa 
with a large gathering of monks totalling 
" fourteen lakhs and sixty thousand " 
The number of bhikkux may be an exagge- 
ration like the 84,000 stupas built by 
ASoka. But the recent discoveries of the 
.edicts of Asoka at Yerragudi and Rajula- 

l. Dr. K. IV Subrah inaniam " J3uddhint Remains of Andhra ". 


mandagiri in Kurnool District show the 
active hand of Emperor A3oka in this 
distant province where Mahadeva un- 
doubtedly had a large congregation of 

On the decline of the Mauryan autho- 
rity, the Satavfihanas assumed a position 
of importance in the south and gradually 
extended their power to south and east and 
ruled for nearly four hundred years. They 
encouraged Buddhism by excavating 
viharas for the bhikkiis in the mountains 
and by richly endowing the establishments 
wherever they existed. Their munificence 
was shared not only by the stupas at 
Amaravati, Bhattiprolu and Ghantasala, 
but also at distant places like Sanchi., 
where a votive inscription on the south 
gateway or torana of Stupa I registers the 
name of Vasistiputra Snanda, the Chief 
of the Artisans of King Satakarni who 
embellished the great stupa at Sanchi. 
The inscriptions of the Satavahanas clearly 
show their great favour towards the 
Buddhists. Many of the later Satavahana 
monarchs showed strong Buddhist lean- 
ings if some of them were not actually 
Buddhists themselves. The Satavahanas' 
rule in the south came to an end in the 
second quarter of the third century A. D., 
when numerous petty principalities under 
their erstwhile subordinates rose to power. 
Of the successors of the Satavahanas 
who carried on the traditions of their 
masters, particularly in the patronage of 
Buddhism, the Iksvakus were the most 
famous. The inscriptions 9 discovered at 
Jaggayypeta in the Nandigama taluk of 
the Krishna District and Nagarjunakonda 
and Gurcala in the Palnad Taluk of 

J . Marshall Sanchi Stupa, 
2: Burgesa-" Amaravati & Jaggayyapeta " 
Prof Vogel-Epigraphica Indica, Vol XX- 

Rroken image of Yaksha found 
at Jaggayyapeta. 

Guntur District supply us four names o1 
the Iksvaku family who ruled at Sri 
parvata (Nag'arjunakonda area) with 
Vijayapuri as their capital, viz. Camtamula 
Virapurisadatta, Ehuvala Camtamulu and 
Rudapurisadatta. The founder of the 
dynasty Camtamula is credited witli 
the performance of agnistoma, Vajapeya 
and asvam&dha sacrifices which are quite 
significant and denote a superior kind oi 
kingship. He appears to have entered 
into matrimonial relations with a number 
of powerful ruling neighbouring families 
like the Kulahakas, Hiranyakas and Huki- 
yas. The reign of the son and successor oi 
Virapurisadatta witnessed not only the 
consolidation of power acquired by his 
father by alliances with powerful houses 
of Ujjain and Banavasi, but also the 
growth of numerous monasteries at Naga- 
rjunakonda and Jaggayapeta. We are now 
concerned here only with the Buddhist 
structures at the latter place. 

The modern town of Jaggayyapeta 
which is a creation of Raja Vasireddi 
Venkatadri Nayudu in the late 18th Cen- 
tury, was originally known by the name 
Betavolu and is situated at a distance oi 
about 30 miles northwest of Amarfivati on 
the Paler river, a tributary of the Krishna. 
It is approachable by a motorable track 
from Bezwada which is slightly longer 
than the route by the river. 

About a mile to the east of the town is 
a low lying hill called |C Dhana Dibba " or 
the " hill of wealth '"' with vestiges of early 
historical remains, in the shape of small 
mounds with brick materials. These have 
been victims of such large-scale spoliation 
by the people of the village who were in 
the habit of digging for brick and other 
building materials, that only a few struc- 
tural remains have survived to us, to 
signify the spots where those mighty 

Ayaka pillar at Jaggayyapeta with inscripti 


monuments of Buddhism stood. The site 
was originally discovered in 1881 when 
sporadic digging was going on, by a local 
officer who reported the matter to the 
Government and the place was visited by 
Burgess in February, 1882, who discovered 
on the hill remains of a group of stupas, 
mostly on a miniature scale, together with 
buildings of very early date. But these 
had been unfortunately dug out by the 
local villagers even by the time Dr. Bur 
gess visited the sites. He did some excava- 
tions around the mound which was consi- 
dered to be the stupa of the area and reve- 
aled to view a stupa, 3 1 i ' in diameter,faced 
with slabs resembling those of Anuiravati. 
The slabs surrounding the base or the drum 
of the stupa which were in situ stood 
about 3 '-9" above the level of a procession 
path which is itself 10.^' wide surrounding 
the whole structure. But the rail, 
which undoubtedly stood around it, lias 
entirely disappeared. Presunibly, it had 
been carried oil* while the stupa itself was 
tolerably entire, by the local people who 
were just then busy building their new 
town. The stupa was next attacked and 
was quarried for materials. What remains 
to us today arc only slabs which have 
fallen and have been covered by their 
own debris on tho procession path round 
the basement. 

To the south-east of the stupa over an 
area of about 170' X 120' were discovered 
stems of pillars scarcely visible above 
ground level. These have been arranged 
regularly about 11' apart. From the 
south-west corner of this area, extends a 
low fence of large stones laid together 
along part of the two adjacent sides- 
These pillars presumably supported a roof 
which formed a large hall or mandapa 
where visitors to the stupa or the bhikku* 


living in the monastery assembled fo r 
congregational worship. 

The stupa itself was built of brick with 
projections in the four cardinal sides 15' 
long and was filled with mud. The struc- 
ture was encased with slabs measuring 
about ,V-G" X 3'-9" and very few of them 
have any carvings except a small pilaster. 
Over a carefully carved base of an early 
pilaster is a representation of Makara 
on which stands a figure whose head re- 
aches almost the top of the shaft. 

These figures, which were conjectured 
by Burgess to be 'Yakshas', appear 
to be counterparts of those found at 
Barhut and Amaravati. The capital is 
heavy and hears very close resemblance to 
the earliest sculpture found at Amaravati 
and is of the pattern already noticed in 
places like Pitalkora and Amaravati. Of 
the representations found on the sculptm- 
ed slabs around the stupa, Burgess point- 
edly draws our attention to the shrine or 
1 Punyasala' which is very interesting. 

Some of the slabs bear fragmentary 
inscriptions in the characters of the 
Mauryan type which incidentally help us 
in dating the beginnings of the structure. 
But the more important epigraphical re- 
cords were noticed on the ayaka pillars 
erected on the ayaka platforms. These 
inscriptions arc of a later date and throw 
some light on the history of Andhra dur- 
ing that period. 

Of the ayaka pillars found on the 
eastern side, one bears an inscription. The 
extant portion of the pillar is 17* long, 
but the upper portion is badly damaged. 
The lower part of the pillar is square in 
shape (7'-()") and above this, it is octa. 
gonal. The space on the lower portion of 
the octagonal shaft has been utilised for 
engraving the inscription, a copy of which 

was also found on fragments of similar 
pillars. The inscription reads as follows :- 

No. 1 

dham Rand Mfidhariputasa Ikkha r 

(i) vlra-Purisa(da) tasa samvachhar(a) 20 
vasapakham 8 clivasam 10(a)...ka. the 
Nadature vathavaaa avesanisa Nakacham- 
dasa put(o) game Mahfikamdurure vfithavo 
(2) avesaniSidhatho apano mataram Nagi- 
lanim purato katunam gharaniin elm 
Samudanim balaka... eha Mulasiriba-i3) 1 
(i)kameha. akabudhanikam bhatukani 
cha Budhinakam tasa gharaniin cha, 
Kanikain balaka cha Nagasiri Chamdasiri 
balikam (cha) (4) Sidhathanikam evam 
natimitasam ivagcna s*;Ua ga. Velagiri- 
yani Bhagavato Budluisa. puvadare aya- 
(5) ka-kham-bhe 5 savaniyutc apanodeya- 
. .satanam hi. sukhaya patith;lpita ti / (t>) 
No. 2 

riputasa Ikkhakunam sirivira-'Puri- 

sadatasa sainv...r (1) divasam 10 

Kammakarathc game Nadature vathavasa 
avesanisa Nakachamdasa ]>uto game Ma- 
haka. u. (2) rurevathavo avesaniSicldhathu 
apano mataram Nagilanim purato katu- 
iiam gharanim wha samudani (.**) balakam 

c;ha, Mulasirim balak 

ranim cha kanikam balaka cha (4) 
Nagasiri-Cha-mdasiri halika cha Sidhatha- 
nikam evam natimitasambamdhivagena 
saha game Ve.(l a), iri. Bhagavato Budha- 
sa Mahaehetiyapuvadare ayaka-khambhe 
pameha 5 savariiyute apano deyadham- 
mam. (0) savasatanam hitasukhaya patith 
(a) pita ti (7) 
No. 3 

Sidham Raiio Madharipntasa Iksha- 
khunam SirivTra-Purisadatasa samvachha- 
ra 20 vasapakam 8 divasam (1) 10 Ka(m) 
makarathe Nadature avesanisa Xaka- 
chamdasa puto game Mahakamdurure ave- 
sani (2) Sidhatho apano mataram Nagi- 
lanim puratokatunam gharanim cha Samu- 

'daniin balakam cha Mulsirim (3) balikam 
cha Nakabhudanikam bhatuka(m) cha 
Budhinakam tasa gharanim cha Kanikam 
balaka cha Nagasiri-Chamda-(4) siri bali- 
kam ya S(i)dhathanika(m) eva(m) nati- 
mitcusambadhivagena saha game Velagiri- Bhagavato (5) Bndhasa Mahaeheti- 
yapuvadare ayaka khambhe 5 savaniynte 
apano deyadliammam savasatanam hi (0) 
tasukhiiya patithapita ti (7). 


"Success! On the 10th day of the 8th 
fortnight of the rainy season, in the 20th 
year of tho king Vurisadata, (Purusha- 
datta), the glorious hero (srivim) of the 
Ikhaklnus (Iksvakus) and son of the 
Madhara (mother),- tl.e artisan awmni 
Sidhatha (Siddhartha) resident in the 
village of Alaliakamdurura, the son of the 
artisan Nakachamda (Nagachandra) resi- 
dent in the village of Nadatura in the 
province (rallir) of Kanunaka, having 
associated (with him) his mother Nagilani, 
and his wife Samudani (Samudrani) and 
his son Mulasiri (Mulasri) and his daughter 
Nakabudhanika, (Nagabuddhaiiika) and 
his brother Budhanika, the wife of tlie 
same Kanika (Kanyaka, Krishna, or Kar- 
nika) and (Ihi'ir) two sons Nagasiri 
(Nagasri) and ('hamdasiri (( -handrasri) 
and daughter Sidhathanika (Siddhartha- 
nika) erected thus, together with the 
multitude of his blood-relations; friends 


and connexions in the village of Velagiri, 
near the eastern gate of the Great Chaitya 
of divine Buddha, five (5) Ayaka pillars 
which were dedicated by all (the above 
persons) as his own meritorious gift for 
the good and the welfare of all living 
beings." 1 

A much later sculpture was found lying 
on its face in the procession path to the 
north-west of the stupa. This was a 
standing figure of Buddha in high relief 
with an inscription underneath in five 
lines of varying lengths and in the charac- 
ters of the 7th Century. The inscription 
which is in Samskrit reads as follows : 

Svasti Bhadanta Nfigarjunacharyyasya 
sishya(shyo) Jayaprabhacharyya(h) Tech- 
chhishyena Cha(ndra)-prabhena karupitam 
satu(tya ?) - Sugata - gata-prasada-visesha- 
visishta - samsare devamanu(ja) vibhuti- 
purvvakam Buddhattva-prapti - nimittam 
Buddha-pratimani pratistha (shtha)pitarn 
anumodana (pakshe ?) kurvvantu sarvve 
Saugaty-agrya(?)nyo pi 

" Hail ! The disciple of the reverend 
N aga r junacharya (was) Jayaprabhacharya. 
May everybody even one who is different 
from the best of Saugatas approve of 
the image of Buddha caused to be made 
by his (Jayaprabha'x) disciple Chandra- 
prabha and established for the purpose of 
the attainment of the condition of a 

Buddha after (the enjoyment of) greatness 
in the world of gods and men in the course 
of existences characterised by the great 
favours of the real Buddha (of whom this 
is an image) *'.* 

These inscriptions, as we can see, are 
dated in the reign of Virapurisadatta of 
the Iksvaku lineage and we may not be 
far from the truth if we infer that the 
benevolent hand which was active at 
Nagarjunakonda renovating the Maha- 
chaitya and erecting fiyaka pillars was 
also active during the same period at 

The period of the Iksvakus, though a 
short-lived dynasty, is very significant in 
the history of Buddhism. It was during 
their period that many stupas and viharas 
were either built or renovated and places 
like Nagarjunakonda and Jaggayyepeta 
became frequent resorts or places of 
pilgrimages for the bUikkus professing 
proto-Mahayana from all tli3 Buddhist 
countries of the world. 3 The construction 
of a special vihara (Simhala Vihara) and 
the dedication of a chaitt/agriha to the 
Theris of Ceylon at Nagarjunakonda 
during the reign of Iksvakus point out the 
cordial relations that existed between the 
two countries. This was largely due to, 
as correctly guessed by Prof. Vogel, the 
flourishing state of Buddhism here. 

Burgess --Arnaravati Jaggayyapeta 

(This translation was given by Dr. (J. Buhler, C.I.E. (by whom it has boon revised), in. the 2nd. 

Antiq.Vol. XI, Indraji, Ph.D. in the Notes on the. Amaravati Stupa, p. 58. 

Burgess Am a ravati & Jaggayyapeta. 

(translated by Prof. R. G. Bhandarkar, M.A., Ph. D. f Poonu. The doubtful readings in the 

inscription are marked with a query), 

Dr. D. 0. Sircar" Successors of Satavahanas " p. 3611. 
Sri N. Dutt Iml. Hist. Quart., V. p. 791. 




TT has been India's proud privilege to 
contribute to the peace, progress and 
culture of the world without expecting 
any rewards, without any aspirations for 
colonisation or markets for her goods. 
Similar has been the contribution of South- 
East Asia, Indo-China and Cambodia in 

" India, indeed, about the second century 
of the Christian era," comments Reginald 
E. May in his authoritative book on the 
culture of South-East Asia, dedicated to 
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, " began to 
exersise a profound cultural influence on 
its neighbours to the East -Burma, Siam, 
Malaya, Cambodia, Java and Ceylon, all 
falling beneath its sway. And this, as far 
as one may judge was almost entirely as 
a result of trading and peaceful penetra- 
tion by missionaries and otjiers and not 
by force of arms." ^^s 

It is a very significant and unique 
feature of .Buddhism that it is the only 
religion in the world that has eschewed 
the shedding of blood in its practice. 
Based on the concept of " Non-violence as 
the greatest dharma ", its practice shines 
in contrast to the Crusades among the 
Christian sects and the feuds between the 
Mahommedans and the Christians. Is 
there any parallel figure in the history of 
the world to Asoka, who after tasting 
victory, gave up warfare, moved by the 
appalling suffering inflicted by the force 
of arms ? 

At the end of his general survey, May 
points out that the countries of South-East 

Asia derived their religion and culture 
from India during the first millenium of 
the Christian Era. First, Buddhist mis- 
sionaries were sent out of India by the 
Mauryan Emperor Asoka in the third 
century B. C. and' these founded the 
Buddhist religion in Ceylon. Others were 
sent out to the Land of Gold Indonesia. 
" A centre of disseminating Hlnayana 
Buddhism arose at Amnravati on the 
Krishna River, in the second and third 
centuries A.D, The influence of this school 
was felt architecturally in Ceylon and in 
Lower Central Siam and, possibly, reached 
as far as Sumatra in the South. 

" In the fifth century," May continues, 
*' an important school of Hlnayana Bud- 
dhism became established in Kanchipuram, 
thirty miles from Madras, the Pallava 
capital. This Buddhistic wave flourished 
in Sumatra, Java and Cambodia." Thus, 
through the three sea routes from Ama- 
ravati ( Aiidhra ) through the Krishna 
River, from Kanchipuram in Madras and 
from Pataliputra through the Ganges, the 
culture and religion of India travelled 

The architecture of Amaravati and 
Kanchipuram have taken deep root in 
South-East Asia.^tThere are temples and 
architectural pieces, relics and paintings 
that deserve study by Indian experts. 
A research team consisting of three or 
four experts in these various arts can be 
sent on a three-to-four month study and 


in litntwism 


An Amaravatl frieze on a coping slab 
(usnlsa) illustrating the theme of the divi- 
sion of the relics of the Buddha, has exer- 
cised the greatest fascination on me for 
over two decades now. It reminds me of 
the passing away in 1 948 of the other great 
Indian belonging to the same category as 
the Buddha. The Andhra artists at work 
on this composition were at their very best 
in sculpturing the details of the solemn, 
final incident in the mortal life of the 

The story of the Master's death and the 
division of his bones is given in the Maha- 
parinibhana sutta of the Digha Nikaya (ii, 
p. 179/191) and is briefly this. 

Learning through Ananda that the Mas- 
ter had passed away, the Mallas of Ku$i- 
nara greatly lamented and came to the Sal 
grove with music and dance and with gar- 
lands and perfumes for performing his 
cremation ceremony. The ceremonies las- 
ted a week when finally the Buddha's cor- 
pse was carried to be placed on the fune- 
ral pyre. Mahakassapa arrived in the mean- 
time and revered the feet of the Master. 
After the body was burnt, the Mallas of 
Ku&nara surrounded the bones of the 
Buddha in their council hall with a lattice 
work of spears and with a rampart of 
bows, and for seven days they honoured 
them with music and dance, garlands and 

Soon the news reached Ajatagatru, king 
of Magadha, the Licchavls of VSsali, the 


Sakiyas of Kapilavatthu, the Bulis of Alia- 
kappa, Kollyas of Ramagama, the Mallas 
of Pava, and the Brahmans of Vethadipa, 
all of whom sent their messengers to re- 
quest a share of the bones of the Buddha. 
The Mallas of KuSlnara, however, refused 
to give them up as the Buddha died in 
their country and they felt that they were 
entitled to the entire remains of the Master. 
But a Brahman named Drona advised them 
not to quarrel over the remains of the 
Master who had always preached peace 
and goodwill. The Mallas now requested 
Drona himself to divide the relics which he 
accordingly did. He divided them into 
eight parts and gave the portions away 

Amar avati 

taking the receptacle for himself over 
which he built a stupa. The Moriyas of 
Pippalivana asked for a share of the 
remains too late and had to content them- 
selves with the embers. A stupa was 
raised over these as well as over each of 
the eight portions of the actual relics. 

In the frieze the lower scene to the 
right represents the funeral ceremonies 
and honouring of the Buddha's remains 
with dance, music and songs. The first 
panel above this to the right shows the 
Mallas disagreeing to give the remains of 
the Buddha to the applicants, and seated 
with his head in an attitude of persuasion 
is a noble-looking man who is obviously 

In the next panel all the applicants are 
assembled along with the Mallas who 
have, with the help of Drdna, made the 
eight divisions shown in two rows of four 
on a rectangular table around which they 
are seated. Finally, in the scene to the 
left, seven elephants issue from the gate- 
way of KuSlnara, each with a rider holding 
a relic casket and a chauri bearer honour- 
ing it by waving the chauri since <: as men 
treat the remains of a king of kings so 
should they treat the remains of a Tatha- 
gata " (Digha Nikaya). 

Of the characters in the story given 
above, AjataSatru, the parricide to whom 
the Buddha gave peace in his remorse 
over his sons, was a blue-blooded Kshatriya; 
the Brahmin Drona was a wise peace- 
maker whom the quarrelling warrior tribes 
respected as a leader. Had the Buddha 
been regarded as a person opposed to the 
whole of the Vedic faith, it is most unrea- 
sonable to expect all the anxiety exhibited 
here by the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas 
for a share of the relics of the Master. 
Making due allowance for partisan and 
literary exaggeration, no one would enter- 

'k 'i ! ' W-: 1 


tain any doubt about the core of truth in 
the above story of the incidents connected 
with the division of the relics. We might 
conclude that at the time of its Pounder, 
Buddhism was not anti-Brahmanical, but 
was accepted by Hindus just as in recent 
years we accepted the Brahmo Samaj and 
Arya Sarnaj. 

Over two centuries later, at the time of 
Asoka, we find the great Emperor using 
the words Brahmanas coupled with &rama- 
nas, with the same high significance for 
both, almost in the same manner as in the 
Dhammapada. In the Shabazgarhi edict, 
the Emperor laments over the pain he 
caused to the Brahmanas and other good 
people of Kalinga. This concern for 
Bra-hmanas shown by Asoka, who had by 
this time become a Buddhist Up^saka, 
shows that there was no question during 
Mauryan times of any opposition between 
Hinduism and Buddhism. Pushyamitra 
Sunga's massacre of the Buddhist monks 
of Kakanada Vihara (Sanchi) looks more 
like a political vendetta than an ti Bud- 
dhist Brahmin fanaticism. Moreover, 


iJv K 


Pushyamitra, the general, was only nomi- 
nally a Brahmin. His successor Agnimitia 
repaired and enlarged the stupas, caityas 
and viharas and thereby made restitution 
for the harm inflicted on the Buddhist 
Sangha by Pushyamitra. From Mauryan 
times onwards, Buddhism, and Hinduism 
(chastened by the healthy rivalry and 
criticism of the Buddha and his worthy 
disciples, the leaders among whom were 
also mostly Brahmanas) were both deve- 
loping side by side in parallel directions 
but the patronage and support 'of Asoka 
and Kaniska gave Buddhism some advan- 
tage over Brahmanism. But despite this 
handicap, Hindu culture, Sanskrit litera- 
ture and Hindu art and philosophy under- 
went a renaissance of lasting potentialities 
during the Gupta period. It would seem 
that Hinduism on the defensive had more 
vitality than complacent, unattacked 
Hinduism. The Guptas and the Vakatakas 
though followers of the Vedic faith do not 
seem to have been animated by any overt 
opposition to Buddhism. 


That Buddhism did not arise in opposi- 
tion to Hinduism but only as a comple- 
ment to it is made very explicit in some of 
the statements of the Buddha. In the 
Samyutta Nikaya, the Buddha gave the 
parable of the traveller discovering an 
ancient city with beautiful palaces, gardens 
and lakes etc.. and of this lone traveller 
making the city habitable once again- 
The ancient path is obviously the unconta- 
minated Indian way and the ancient city 
is purified Hinduism without its overgrown 
emphasis on mechanical ritualism. Modern 
scholarship has shown that the Buddha 
did not deny the doctrine of the imman- 
ence of the Absolute though he questioned 
the correctness of the belief in the ulti- 
mate authority of the revealed word. 
Buddhist symbolism, in fact, explains 
what the Buddha is said to have left 
unsaid about problems of the Absolute. 
The Bodhi tree, mythologically the tree 
under which the Buddha got his enlighten- 
ment, symbolically the Buddha, is in 
philosophical mysticism to Ekasvatta of 
the Upanishads, the seers of the symbol 
Absolute. The Dharma chakr-a represent- 
ing the sun, and the authority of the ruler 
of the world (Chakravartin), is the same 
as the discus of Vishnu, Before he came 
to be represented in anthropomorphic 
form, the Buddha used to be represented 
by the " Flaming Pillar ", which is very 
much like a Linga from which flames 
emerge. Agni, as a high god, is an essen- 
tially Vedic concept, though it is found 
as a symbol of Jehovah in Semitic mytho- 
logy. We might say the Buddhists adop- 
ted and adapted it for their purpose. 

In the later Mahayanic Buddhism and 
devotional Hinduism the parallel develop- 
ment of the divine personalities of tho 
vast pantheon is too obvious to need 
elaborate explanation. The supreme bene- 

volence of the Bodhisattvas is equated 
with similar qualities of Vishnu or Siva ; 
similarly also the Taras and Devis. Srl- 
devi of the Hindu pantheon is the Sirima 
Yakshini of the early Buddhists and Ga- 
ne$a is, likewise, a developed form of the 
elephant-eared Yaksha of the popular 
Buddhistic pantheon. The Dikpalas of the 
Hindu shrines stand guard in the same way 
as the Lokapalas in Buddhist shrines. In 
all these developments, which went on over 
several centuries, the question who bor- 
rowed from whom is a matter of chrono- 
logy, as both the parties drew upon a com- 
mon fund of traditional ideas and symbols 
belonging to a common cultural heritage. 
In the later developments of Mahayana 
Buddhism (including Zen Buddhism) and of 
Puranic Hinduism, the distinction between 
the two was a distinction without any sig- 
nificant difference in basic concepts. The 
Buddha in Mahayana came to be identified 
with the Absolute and Bodhisatvas came 
to be regarded as emanations of the 

The Upanisads and Buddhism \\ereat 
one in placing Para vidya, knowledge of 
the Atman, as the only Reality, above 
the study of the Vedas and Vedangas. 
The Mundaka (1, 2, 7) openly brands as 
fools those who perform mere rites and 
ceremonies. See also Brihadaranyaka ( 1 , 
4, 10) which compares those who offer sa- 
crifices to the gods without knowing the 
Atman to domestic animals ministering to 
the comforts of their owners. While the 
Qpanisads departed from the popular 
magical faith under the cover of the autho- 
rity esoterically implied in the Vedas, the 
Buddha did it in a more open and daring 

The " Ancient Way "' to which the Bud- 
dha and also the Upanisads referred is 
partially implied in an esoteric sense in the 

Vedic sacrifice which is an act of internal 
reintegration being actually conceived in 
our hearts. The reconciliation of con- 
flicting power effected by the sacrifice 
(yajna) takes place not outside but with- 
in the sacrifices The Vajra (thunderbolt) 
with which Indra slays the Dragon is 
Light Progenitive and is, therefore, phallic. 
If every act is to be a sacrifice and such 
sacrifices should be an incessant operation, 
the sacrifices which priests perform vicari- 
ously for others are just like the shadow 
for the substance. The Buddha therefore 
had to point out other ways than the 
difficult, mystic way involved in the Vedic 
Yagna. He said in the Samyutta Nikaya 
( 1 , 169) that the true Agnihotra is within : 

T pile no wood for fires on altars ; 

I kindle a flame within me : 

My heart the hearth, the flame the 
cloinpted self. 

The Aitareya Aranyaka says the same 
thing in identical terms. 

What were the Buddhist's points of 
departure which in spite of their common 
sources made Buddhism different, to begin 
with, from Hinduism ? I have already 
referred to the Buddha's denial of the 
authority of the written Word. He gave 
primacy to experience over texts and 
authorities and laid emphasis on disci- 
plined practical life than on the theory of 
religion. He wanted people first to purify 
their hearts of lust and passion ; after 
purifying themselves to destory Avidya 
(ignorance) that burns within them ; and 
then to understand and realise that desire 
is the root of all suffering and therefore 
eschew desire. He himself was the great 
wayfarer. His refusal to discjose and 
discuss esoteric philosophy and his con- 
demnation of speculative and verbose 
argumentation have been misunderstood 
and described as atheism and agnos- 


ticism. Another innovation which the 
Buddha introduced was analytical think- 
ing in the field of religion in the place 
of magical rites and emotionalism. A 
religion like the Buddha's, trying to 
base life on reason, asceticism and broad 
humanism, is difficult to popularise, but 
in the early phases of Buddhism, the 
dynamic personality of the Buddha pro- 
vided it with great popular appeal. This 
initial personal momentum sustained Bud- 
dhism for about two centuries, but the 
Buddha who had sought to supplant emo- 
tion and blind faith by reason, himself 
became a victim of religious emotion the 
Buddha deified. With the hope of securing 
good life in heaven, men and women built 
stupas and images of the Buddha. Stories 
containing a great deal of imaginative 
and fantastic details were compiled for 
the delectation of the populace. Buddhism 
attained great popularity in India when 
the cult of the stupa and the paremita 
cult had the widest prevalence. The 
essence of the original Buddhism can be 
deemed as submerged and lost when 
Buddha worship began, 

The founder of Buddhism expected 
everyone of his followers to be a light 
unto himself. He made it very clear that 
salvation depended on individual effort 
and that no one else could save any indivi- 
dual. Entering the Buddhist order was 
just a preparation for the life of the spirit* 
The Mahayanists watered down the hard- 
ships of the spiritual endeavour and made 
it in practice just a token, and instead of 
being lights unto themselves, began to 
lean heavily on spiritual beings who would 
mercifully answer their supplications and 

Some of the greatest innovations which 
the Buddha made were at the organisa- 
tional level. We are not aware of any 


organised efforts made by pre-Buddhistic 
Hindus to convert others to their religion. 
Ceremonies connected with the admission 
of Vratyas into the fold are mentioned 
but they do not imply missionary work. 
The Buddda, however, said to his monks ; 
" Go ye forth, for the welfare and comfort 
of the world." The early accounts of the 
numbers of people converted into Bud- 
dhism by the various leading Theras 
remind one of the reports of Christian 
missionaries to their home boards in 
Europe or England ! Dharmarakshita, a 
Greek monk, is said to have converted 
37,000 people in Aparanta (the West). 
The mission led by Asoka's son and 
daughter which went to Ceylon need not be 
a fiction at all. Asoka has recorded that 
ho sent Dharma Dutas to various coun- 
tries to " elevate the people " by a "growth 
in piety ". Propagation of religion as a 
function of the State was a new thing 
which, though it did not survive in the 
Asokan way in the India of later days, 
yet remained the ideal of Hindu kings as 
upholders of the Hindu Dharma. 

From the time of Asoka, the Buddhists 
got accustomed to lean on royal patron- 
age, but it is doubtful if ever they were 
able to monopolise such royal patronage 
for themselves to the exclusion of other 
faiths. The greatest patrons of Buddhism, 
Asoka and Kanishka, were too wise to 
show partisanship to Buddhism and 
estrange the Hindu subjects. Asoka's son 
and successor is believed to have been a 
Jaina. The Satavahanfts who patronised 
Buddhism were greater patrons of Brah- 
manism. The Guptas, under whom the 
Bhagavata cult developed supported Bud- 
dhism but only partially, perhaps fo r 
political reasons. The impression we get 
of Buddhism between the 3rd Century 
B. C. and the 4th Century A. D. is one of 

Yashodhara presenting her son Bahula to Lord Buddha Amaravati Belief. 

rapid growth, and of even more rapid 
decline from the time of the great Hindu 
renaissance under the Guptas. There was 
nothing in Mahayana Buddhism that was 
not there in the Vaishnavism that flowered 
and bore fruit during the Gupta period. 
The impetus given by the personality of 
the Buddha was spent up in the course of 
8 or 9 centuries and when he became a 
god amidst many gods, there was little 
to maintain Buddhism as a distinctive 
faith alongside of Vaishnavism with its 
greater emotional appeal. The literary 
revival of the Gupta period which saw the 
final recensions of the Mahabharata and 
Ramayana and the poetry and drama of 
Kalidasa, was more impressive than any- 
thing that the Buddhists had to show. In 
the field of art the artists of Madhura 
sculptured the images of Vishnu with the 
same form and feeling as they did those 
of the Buddha. The Bodhisatva of Ajanta 
was painted by Buddhist artists with his 
shakti in female form by his side just as 
the Hindus conceived of Vishnu with 
Srldevi by his side. The process of uncons- 
cious Hinduisation of Buddhism was thus 
begun by the Indian Buddhists them- 
selves. If the history of art gives us 
any clue of the transformation of Bud- 
dhism, we might say that the stream of 
Buddhism which originated from the static 
Hindu reservoir of Magadha flowed back 
again into its source. 

As Hinduism was non-proselytising, it 
had no need for a body of unalterable doc- 
trines, and so it was easy for it to absorb 
several of the good points of Buddhism. 
Hindu philosophy therefore appropriated 
for itself the Advaita philosophy of the 
Buddhists, adopted the practice of Ahimsa 
and gave up animal sacrifices, and began 
to organise Mutts on the models of the 
Buddhist monasteries. The culminating 


act in this process of absorption was the 
conversion of the Buddha into an Avatar 
of Vishnu. The great regard with which 
Sankara looked upon the Buddha is eviden- 
ced in the Acharya's sloka saluting the 
Buddha in his DaSavatarastOtra as the 
greatest of yogis. It is indeed refreshing 
to note that even in the heat of philosophi- 
cal controversies, no Hindu of any stand- 
ing was guilty of disrespect to the Buddha. 

Buddhism in its last phase in India } 
which we might call the Nalanda phase, 
became more priest-ridden than Brahma- 
nism at its worst. It was an evil day for 
Mahayanism when the Buddhist holy man 
Asanga brought the Hindu gods to aid 
men not only towards salvation but also in 
the attainment of worldly desires. The 
Hindu gods infiltrated into Buddhism in 
the guise of personifications of the various 
powers of the Buddha. Asanga also 
introduced Tantrism which grew very 
strong in Bengal till the time of the 
Muslim invasion. 

Talking of the great monastic university 
of Nalanda, one is reminded of the fact 
that the campus of the university and 
the monasteries was surrounded by great 
walls and had fortified entrances. These 
defences became necessary, partly because 
of the great insecurity of life and pro- 
perty, consequent on the White Hun 
invasions and partly because the monaste- 
ries had become centres of economic and 
also political influence and power. The 
concentration of wealth and influence in 
monasteries was a development which the 
Buddha would not have expected when he 
started the organisation of monastic esta- 
blishments. Though pre-Buddhistic India 
knew of Parivrajakas and of small groups 
of ascetics living in seclusion, the organi- 
sation of monks into Sanghas with detailed 
regulations for the conduct of life and 

administration within the organisation 
seems to be an innovation introduced by 
the Buddha. While the large number of 
dedicated men and women living in 
organised establishments gave Buddhism 
a tremendous strength for popularising 
the religion and for the leisured cultivation 
of literature, art, architecture, science: 
medicine, logic, philosophy etc , the monas- 
teries turned out to be the Achilles' Heel of 
Buddhism during the last lap of its 
existence in India. Instead of spreading 
out and scattering its influence over the 
country, Buddhism got concentrated in a 
few monastic establishments, and during 
the Hun and the Muslim invasions, these 
proved to be the most vulnerable and 
inviting targets for the invaders. The 
monasteries of Gandhara and North 
Western India went down like a house of 
cards during the first phase of the Hun 
attacks; a similar fate overtook other 
monasteries in the Gangetic valley. A few 
that survived after the Hun invasions 
were robbed and destroyed by the Mush\n 
invaders. Saivaite attacks on Buddhism 
are also known to history. The fanatical 
Saiva king Sasanka of Bengal almost 
destroyed the Bodhi tree at Gaya. At 
other strongholds of Saivism in Western 
and Southern India, fanantical Saivaites 
seem to have followed the bad example 
set by King Sasanka of Bengal. While 
Brahmanism had sufficient vitality and 
resilience to withstand and survive the 
onslaught of Islam, Buddhism could not 
resurrect itself because its root in the soil 
had already been destroyed. It will be of 
considerable historical interest if we are 
able to get more particulars about the 
conversion of the Buddhist temples such 

as the Caitya of Chozarla into Siva 
temples, and details of the transfer of 
properties belonging to Buddhist monas- 
teries to Saiva Mutts. 

I would now summarise my general 
impressions : 

(1) It is unlikely, from the point of 
view of numbers and popularity, that 
Buddhism was at any time more impor- 
tant in India than Hinduism, though at 
certain epochs it might have had greater 
influence upon a particular ruler or a 
group of people. It seems to have been 
more urban than rural. 

('2) Its doctrinal difference from pre- 
Buddhist Hinduism was slight, but it was 
innovative in several matters concerning 
the application of the ancient ideas to the 
affairs of human life. Yajna was to be 
a sacrifice of the phenomenal self and not 
of Pasus. 

(3) The post-Upanishadic development 
of Hinduism and of Mahayanistic Bud- 
dhism followed almost parallel courses 
with the Vasudeva cult as the-core of the 
one and the Buddha cult as that of the 

(4) The hard path of the Tathaga-.a 
was too difficult a way to attract popular 
enthusiasm and having stimulated a re- 
valuation of the old values and having 
added a few new ones of its own, the 
original Buddhism fulfilled itself by about 
the 2nd century B. C. 

(5) The great Buddhist thinkers in 
their vihs.ras developed all arts and scien- 
ces which helped and stimulated Hinduism 
in the nearby camps. 

(6) Buddhism transplanted into the coun- 
tries of the Far East, South- East Asia 


and Central Asia contained new values 
and strange novelties for the peoples of 
those areas. This novelty factor was 
lacking in India to aid its continuance 
here as a distinct socially organised entity. 
(7) In the earliar phases, Hindus wel- 
comed the Buddha and his Way. In the 
early centuries after Christ, it was tolera- 
ted. And opposition to it began with the 
militant Saivite revival, after the Hindus 
had accepted and assimilated a great 
deal of the values and thoughts of the 

(8) The decline of Buddhism was initi- 
ated when the Bhagavata cult developed, 
and proved more attractive to the popu- 
lace ; when Mihiragula's hordes des- 
cended on India ; and the final blow 
came from the Mussalman invaders and 
from Saivaite organisations. 

(9) The personality of the Buddha 
continued to be venerated in India and 
the values lie gave India were always 
entrenched at the back of ;the Hindu 
mind. Buddha became thus internationa- 
lised in the Hindu psyche. 




human memory, no other life ha/ directly to the heart of the ordinary man 
left such a strong and clear imprea< and satisfied his emotional urge. The 

sion as that of Lord Buddha. The Hindu 

Puranas proclaim the greatness of many a 

hero, but these are far removed from the 

human plane and as such are inaccessibly 

noble and inimitable character of the 
Buddha, his Bhikkus and Bhikkunis at- 
tracted millions of people to the faith. 
These Bhikkus and Bhikkunis sacrificed 

deified.f Even then, their name and fame f. every comfort for the sake of religion and 
have not crossed the borders of the Indian v humanity and spent their lives proclaim- 
sub-continent.,< ' J1 " ' Jl ' A " 

But the case of Lord Buddha is quite 
different from the Hindu Puranic heroes. 
Today, a large portion of the 2,000 
millions who inhabit this globe take refuge 
in his name. The popularity of Christ, in 
numbers, comes only next to that of the 
Buddha, in whose footsteps the whole of 
Asia once followed. 

Today, the archaeologist's spade lias 
dug out from the bowels of the earth in 
Central Asia, China and India many like- 
nesses of the Biiddha, which were once 
worshipped by ardent devotees. The 
Upasaka and the Bhikku expressed through 
chisel and hammer not only the super- 
human grace and greatness of the Buddha, 
but also left to posterity a heritage of 
which they can feel proud. 

Even now, the number of Buddhists in 
the world far exceeds that of any other 
religion. But though it was once a 
dominating religion in India, no trace of 
it is left in the country of its origin. 

Before going into the causes of the 
decline of Buddhism in India, let us see 
how it grew to such an extent as to 
embrace the lives of more than half the 
humanity of those days. The early 
Buddhism never ventured to go deep into 
mysticism or philosophy. It appealed 

Gospel through art and action. 
Andhra became the centre of this vast 
spiritual domain. Buddhism and Jainism 
were the dominant religions of the Dec- 
can in those days. Whereas Tamilnad 
supported Jainism to a good extent, 
Andhra not only took to Buddhism whole- 
heartedly, but also became a centre for 
dissemination of Dharma throughout the 
world. In this way, upto to 1,000 A. D. 
in Andhra. Buddhism flourished under the 
patronage of the kings and the people. 
As a result of the deep veneration of the 
people towards the Buddha, many pilgrim 
centres and universities took shape on 
the banks of the Krishna. 

Another factor which stimulated the 
growth of Buddhism should not be forgot- 
ten. The Buddha and his followers used 
the colloquial dialect as the vehicle for 
propagating their religion and thus brought 
it nearer to the people. The holy books 
were written in the people's language, 

Due to the influence of Buddhism on 
Central A*ian barbaric tribes, new ideas 
sprang up there and as a consequence of 
it, Christianity and Islam took shape. If 
love, sacrifice, compassion, non-violence, 
devotion towards service the essential 
qualities of Buddhism are excluded from 


Christianity, there remains little for the 
Christian missionaries to feel proud of. 
Much evidence is there to show that the 
life and character of the Buddha greatly 
influenced Jesus Christ. 
( We can say that Buddhism played a 
ilpart indirectly in the birth of Islam too. 
The Arabs used to call idolaters ' But 
paraste '. This shows that the worship of 
idols of the Buddha had spread so widely 
in Arabia that the word ' But ' became a 
synonym for idol. Mohammed attacked 
idolatry, but took the best from Bud- 
dhism; so much so that even now we find 
many a principle common to both. 

Even the so-called anti-Buddhist San- 
kara was indebted to Buddhism. There 
is many a similarity between the Mahayana 
philosophy of Buddhism and Advaita. 
It is due to this that the Vedic opponents 
of ankara called him a ' disguised Bud- 
dhist ' (pracchanna Bauddha.) 

The credit for being the first institu- 
tional religion also goes to Buddhism. 
The Buddha was the first man to codify 
all the noble principles and motives that 
make life worth living under the name of 
a religion and present it as a way of 
deliverance to suffering humanity. 

Let us now go to the causes of its 
decline in India. Within 1,500 years of 
its birth, Buddhism lost its vigour in 
India. The incompetent followers, who 
took over the propagation of the religion, 
side-tracked the noble path that the Lord 
had shown and putting aside the propaga- 
tion of the ethical principles of Buddhism 
that are the very life breath of the reli- 
gion, advocated worship of the Buddha as 
a panacea for all misdeeds, intentional 
and unintentional. This led to a fall in 
moral values. The Hindus took advantage 
of this fall and asserted their own religion. 
But at the same time, they could not but 


take to the worship of idols to satisfy the 
emotional needs of the common people 
brought up in that atmosphere. 
A The only people who took better advan- 
. tage of the fall of Buddhism were the 
I Muslims. They attacked idolatry tooth 
and nail and iconoclasm became their 

The Hindus too had a share in this 
vandalism. While they encouraged the 
worship of their idols, they took care to 
see that not only Buddhist idols, but also 
Buddhist literature and art in India were 
destroyed beyond recognition. 

Thoso remnants, which have accidently 
escaped this planned vandalism and are 
now seen in Andhra and elsewhere, stand 
as evidence of the glory of that Buddhist 
art. The splendid caves of Karli, the 
magnificently sculptured Caitya caves of 
Ellora, the beautiful paintings of Ajanta. 
which seem to have reached the zenith of 
artistic expression, are only some of the 
creations of the untiring devotion of Bud- 
dhist artist saints. Even today, after such a 
lapse of time, they are attracting visitors 
from the four corners of the world. The 
Buddhists of yore proclaimed their devotion 
and artistic grandeur through the various 
sculptures strewn throughout India, from 
Gandhara to Gauhati, from Mount Kailasa 
to Cape Comorin. XModern India cannot 
only feel proud of that great heritage, but 
also, on the basis of this, can venture 
upon spreading a new light throughout 
this gloomy world.^> 

The country and its leaders are aware 
of this great opportunity that lies ahead 
of the nation, So our beloved Prime 
Minister, Pandit Nehru, has called upon 
the nation to celebrate the 2,500th Buddha 
Jayanti in the most befitting manner. 
These celebrations will naturally rouse up 
the country to an awareness of its former 

pristine glory and a new and radiant 
message will henceforward spring forth 
from this land and this ' new voice of 
Asia ' will resound throughout the world, 
as we earnestly expect. 

As for a full span of 1,000 years, 
Andhra continued to be a renowned centre 
of Buddhism, it should have reached per- 
fection in many departments of life. 
Though we cannot today get a compre- 
hensive history of those days, the availa- 
ble inscriptions at Nagarjunakonda and 
other places attest to the fact that traders 
and students from various countries came 
to this land for earning and learning. 
How we wish that these mute sculptured 
slabs could speak of the past glory of 
Andhra ! 

}f Not only Nagarjunakonda, Amaravati, 
Jaggayyapeta and Ghantasala, but every 
ancient mound on either bank of the 
Krishna must have then been either a 
town or a university centres The history 
that lies hidden under these mounds, if 
dug out, would certainly deliver a new 
message which would instil a new vigour 
in us. This task falls to the lot of Andhra 
historians and research workers. 

The 2,500-year-old message, which the 
Buddha gave, is ever fresh and one who 
has imagination can even now hear it thus: 

" Bhikkus ! Every religious man should 
strive his best to hasten towards the 
Eternal Goal of Nirvana. There is no 
real happiness in the enjoyment of worldy 
things and there is no perfect satisfaction 
in running after these. This enjoyment is 
inhuman, brutal and devastating, too. 

To torture the body, in the name of 
seeking after restraint, is also meaningless 
and foolish. 

So Tathagata says : Intelligence, rest- 
raint and search lead to knowledge. To 
attain Nirvana, the Middle Path is the 
only one to take. 

What is the Middle Path ? Right Doct- 
rine, Right Purpose, Right Discourse 
Right Behaviour, Right Purity, Right 
Thought, Right Loneliness, Right Rap- 
ture, these constitute the eight-fold Mid- 
die Path. 

Disciples ! Learn that the first Truth is 
Sorrow. Life as everyone leads it, is made 
up of sorrow. ^Birth, death, disappoint- 
ment, dissatisfaction and such others are 
the cause of sorrow. jf 

Form, anguish, nomenclature, past ac- 
tion, perception are the five primaries. 
These lead life into distress and unhappi- 

w Lust and thirst of things lead to des- 
truction. Lust should be suppressed with 
the aid of renunciation. Renunciation is 
the only weapon by which man can with- 
stand sorrow. Ityis the only way* to 
attain Nirvana."^./ 

According to the stages of development 
reached by the followers of the Buddh& 
Buddhism later took three forms : ( 1^ 
Vajrayana (2) Hiiiayana and (3) Maha-, 
yana. The credit for the propagation of] 
Mahayana goes to Acharya Nagarjuna. 
He is said to have been a native of 
Vidarbha, domiciled in Andhra. After 
him is named the famous Nagarjunakonda. 
Mahayana is very close to the Bhakti cult 
and it may be said to be the final version 
of Buidhism in India. 

As idol worship was sanctioned by 

Mahayana, gradually it became merged 

' with other forms of idol worship in this 

Vountry. But even today, there are 


crores of Mahayana Buddhists in other 
parts of the world. The later day 
Hindu schools of 3ankara, Ramanuja, 
Madhwa and Vallabha may be said to 
have had their beginnings in Mahayana 

When idol worship was once sanctioned 
by Mahayana, the difficult paths of renun- 

ciation and ascetism were thrown into the 

v/Andhra, as the birthplace of Mahayana 
philosophy, and Nagarjuna as its founder, 
have earned name and fame in the History 
of Human Thought. It is the duty of the 
Andhras to /live worthilv of that great 
heritage. m 

Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha 


Copy of Inscription No. 1 at Jaggayyapeta mentioned in the article " Ikshvakus 
and their Services to Buddhism " by R. Smlmhrnanyam, and other articles. 



Copy of Inscription No. 3 at Jaggayyapeta mentioned in the article " Ikshvakus 
and their services to Buddhism " by R. Subrahmanyam, and other articles.